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Artificial Nails and Preventing Nail Fungus

By HERWriter
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My friend Susan was wearing bright red nail polish at breakfast the other day. Another friend commented on what a pretty color it was. Susan explained she was wearing a darker red color to cover how her nails looked after treating them for a nail fungus. She had applied artificial stick-on nails on top of her own nails and moisture became trapped between them, allowing a nail fungus to grow.

Nail fungus, called onychomycosis, more typically occurs in toenails, but when fingernails are covered with the plastic from artificial nails, a barrier to normal air flow and light is created. Fungus loves to grow in moist, dark places. Artificial nails can become loosened from the nail they are glued to and a pocket may form between both nails, allowing water to get trapped. This provides a prime breeding ground for nail fungus to grow.

The biggest problem with nail fungus infections is that they are very difficult to cure and may recur easily. Nail fungus usually grows at the tip of the nail where it meets the skin. Nail fungus can appear as thickened, discolored, brittle or ragged at the ends of the nail. It can take months for new healthy nail to grow after treatment, especially if infections recur.

How nail fungus is treated:

Topical cream - If the nail fungus is very mild, a topical antifungal cream may be tried. Lamisil cream contains the active ingredient of terbinafine that combats nail and other skin fungus infections.

Oral medication - There are three oral prescription medications used to treat nail fungus: Lamisil, Sporanox and Diflucan. Unfortunately, each requires several weeks of treatment to get the fungus infection under control, and they can cause severe side effects that some people do not tolerate.


1. Make sure the salon you go to is reputable and practices superior hygienic technique in maintaining cleanliness, with good hand washing performed between clients.

2. Do not have nails applied if you have any nail inflammations already present. Test the glue on just one nail if you have chemical sensitivities to make sure no irritations will arise after the nails are applied.

3. Artificial nails can become loosened if bumped and separate from your own nail. Make sure to soak your finger in alcohol to disinfectant your own nail before attaching a new artificial nail.

4. Do not wear artificial nails for more than three months at a time and allow a month in between for your own nails to be exposed to air and light.

Preventing nail fungus from growing is much easier than combating the infection once it has occurred. If you develop nail fungus, make sure not to return to wearing artificial nails or nail polish until the nail fungus infection has cleared.

More information:


Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in women’s health care and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele can be read at http://www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles.

Add a Comment12 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I am using tea tree oil and something called Kerasal Nail.working. Good luck to everyone.

January 3, 2015 - 2:38pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have been infected with nail fungus for several years. It is the biggest trouble in my life. Thanks for the provided information. It helps me a lot. I think i'm going to try them. But I also hear of other way to treat nail fungus from this website: http://lasernailtherapy.com. Does anyone know the real effect?

June 27, 2014 - 7:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for this informative post. I'm using medicine right now. It's called Fungusil. Haven't tried other means of medication. I can say that I'm okay with this already because I have been seeing improvement since I started using it. The result is consistent so far.

July 19, 2011 - 12:03am
EmpowHER Guest

When toenails, or even fingernails, become thick, yellow or white, and crumbly, it's likely you have a nail fungus. Such a condition is not only unsightly, but, if left untreated, can spread to other nails or surrounding skin and can make it uncomfortable and painful. To know more about this infection and treatments, check the link below,

November 13, 2009 - 4:49am
EmpowHER Guest

Agree, But there are many variety of toenail fungus treatment that you can use with success. There are also quite a few toenail fungus treatment that are not very effective.But what are the best treatment to cure a toenail fungus?
Brin @ toenail-fungustreatment.com

September 29, 2009 - 7:47pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

As I explained in the article, mild fungus may be able to be treated using a topical cream you can buy at the drug store that are the ones used to treat athletes foot such as Lamisil. More severe fungus needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist to decide about whether to take oral pills which do have side effects some people cannot tolerate.

There are several home remedies you can find all over the web such as tea tree oil, vicks vapor rub or soaking in listerine but there is no way to know if they will help you. You may have to try a few and see. I tend to think the home remedies may reduce fungus and keep things from getting worse but are not strong enough to really knock it out. Hope this helps

September 30, 2009 - 7:19am

I used to have artificial nails till a friend got nail fungus. It looked terrible and took ages for it to go. She found it really stressful. After that I removed my fake nails and have gone natural ever since. My natural nails arent as glamorous but they are healthy and look good when I look after them.

September 24, 2009 - 6:35pm
EmpowHER Guest

I agree, But there are many variety of toenail fungus

treatment that you can use with success. There are also quite

a few toenail fungus treatment that are not very

effective.But what are the best treatment to cure a

toenail fungus specially to your self?
Brin @ treatmentfortoenailfungus.org

September 24, 2009 - 4:24pm

Thanks for reading and commenting on my article.

Homeopathy is considered to be alternative/complementary therapy and some people report good effects using homeopathic treatments. It is not clear that the results people obtain from homeopathy are not due to placebo though. People are amazingly suceptible to placebo. Next time you receive a medication with an drug insert that shows the results of a study on the effectiveness of a medication, look at the list of symptoms the placebo group developed. The fact that anyone can break out with a rash or develop GI distress when they were in the group that received nothing shows that our brains do have alot of control over our bodies.

I lean towards being a scientist when it come to Homepathy and I do not understand the "science" of how solutions that only have the "essence" of substances can exert a curative effect on the body. The air is full of "essences" of all types of chemicals and so we are constantly bombarded with all types of particles that our bodies may or may not react to, so how does the body know which minute substances are intended to cure us or not.

There are usually other herbs mixed in with Homeopathic treatments and perhaps those are exerting the curative benefit. In terms of nail fungus. Fungi are very difficult to rid the body of and when treated, I'm not entirely sure we aren't just knocking down the population low enough to not cause symptoms rather than actually killing it off.

June 17, 2009 - 7:07am
EmpowHER Guest

A very informative article. But regarding treatment options, I wish to ask a question.

What are your stand on curing nail fungus with homeopathical treatment? I've read an article that basically said that homeopathic treatment are really just a placebo effect? It's here, http://www.toenail-fungus-treatment.net/homeopathic-treatment-controversial-treatment

Now, I wonder if you have an opinion regarding that. Thank you.

June 16, 2009 - 8:00pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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