Green nail syndrome (GNS) is a nail infection that causes a greenish discoloration of the nails, also known as chloronychia. The shade of green varies from blue-green to dark green to bluish-grey. Because the discoloration is beneath the nail, washing or scrubbing will not remove it. The condition usually affects one or two nails and can affect fingernails or toenails. The nail is usually not painful, but the skin around it, including the cuticle, can become swollen, tender, or red.
A bacteria called pseudomonas aeruginosa causes Green Nail Syndrome. This bacteria thrives in moist environments like jacuzzis, contact lens solutions, sinks, and bath sponges. When this bacteria grows, it produces a distinctive green pigment.
Green nail syndrome is often misdiagnosed as toenail or fingernail fungus, especially when the green pigment appearance isn't particularly strong. Green Nail Syndrome, however, is not caused by a fungal infection. Therefore, fungus treatments will be ineffective in the treatment of Green Nail Syndrome. You can, however, have BOTH types of infection at the same time.
Anyone who has had their nails in contact with water for an extended period is more likely to develop green nail syndrome. Those who work as bartenders, dishwashers, wait staff, or in other jobs requiring a lot of water are often at risk for fingernail infection. Although no good studies have proven the link, those with artificial nails may be at a higher risk of developing this bacterial infection. Onychomycosis is also a risk factor, as the two infections are frequently seen together. Individuals with toenail infections are frequently those who work in hot, humid environments that necessitate the use of footwear. Sweat and maceration produce moisture, which allows bacteria to thrive.
Lastly, green nail syndrome can be exacerbated by nail trauma (biting, chewing, or tearing) and nail deformities, or onycholysis.
Those who are most at risk of contracting Green Nail Syndrome due to a genetic predisposition or lifestyle and workplace choices should take preventative measures, such as:
Soaking can help. Use 1-part white vinegar and 4-parts. Soak for 10 minutes, twice daily, then thoroughly dry. However, often the most effective treatment for green nail syndrome includes prescription treatment. While hard to find, the proper treatment for green nail syndrome can be very effective. One of the effective treatments for green nail syndrome is offered by Caratin Rx. Sign up today at caratinrx.com to get your nails assessed by a clinician and determine if our Green Nail Treatment is right for you!