Category:Caring for Nail Dystrophy
Regular nail care is essential for those with PC. Patients use a variety of methods and tools. Following is a list of various medications, products, tips and tools which help PCers care for their nails.
Nail Care for Children with PC
K6a patient "Nail care for children. Trim baby's nails when asleep or relaxed. Use the sharpest pair of nail clippers you can find, and don't take off too much at a time. Then file the nail smooth, in one direction only. Filing back and forth seems to make it sore. The more we messed with the nail, the more likely we were to have problems. Groom their nails about every 2 weeks. The nails are more noticeable when they're longer, but it's the balance between "short enough" and "not too often". Then apply a nail polish top coat or nail hardener."
K6a patient "Trim regularly using large nail clippers. Trim PC children's nails every few weeks using large nail clippers and razor blades. Soak nails in water first. Seems to ward off infectious nails. Can sometimes feel a twinge in nail to warn of oncoming infection. Trimming immediately can avoid the problem altogether. Never get infected nails as an adult, but young children still do."
K17 patient "I have really bad nails though but manage to disguise them by filing them flat and putting false nails on."
K17 patient "I always wear false fingernails. The big toe nails on both my feet are also false. You can still see the thickness from the side even with tips."
??? patient "My sister and I have been filing down our nails since we were pre teens. I have applied artificial nails on my own since I was about 18. We both have had acrylic nails put on professionally (when they first came out) but they didn't work out.... it took too long, was embarrassing and costed too much. So I just watched what the manicurist did and I knew I could do it myself. To make a long story short I am now 46 and I am still wearing artificial nails which I redo religiously once a week. My sister, who isn't as vain as I am, doesn't wear them anymore because they won't stay on with the type of nails she has.
Even though mine don't look perfect, they do fool most people! Now that they have come out with artificial toenails I also apply a fake one on my big toes and it feels great to wear sandals! Of course there are a couple of down sides to wearing false nails but I think it's worth it and it has made me feel more secure throughout my life."
??? patient "I manage the condition by using a dremel tool and thinning them out and also by going to a nail salon to have gel tips put on them, it took awhile to find a good nail tech who has a good attitude and is very patient with my condition. I usually get gel nails and they last several weeks and then I have to remove them. Sometimes if I am too ruff with my nails or accidentally smash them while the artificial nails are on they will get an infection so that's another thing I have to manage, not getting nail infections. Infections are very painful and require me using the dremel tool to take off as much as the fake nail as possible and sticking a needle into the nail bed until the puss oozes out. It is a pain I have learned to deal with because when I was younger I would have a few nails at one time infected and they would throb to the point where I felt it feel better if I could just cut my fingers off. After the puss is released the nails kind of shed their own dead shell and a new nail grows. My feet are affected by PC as well and I have to dremel them too. If I don't get enough sleep the planters warts will hurt and I will have to dig at them. Not having enough sleep ruins my day because everything on my feet ache, the calluses and everything. In the past when I have painted my nails after making them shorter and filing them down, and have painted them it's as though the nail soaks in the nail polish and it starts to hurt and feel horrible. It is so hard to remove nail polish from PC nails because the nails soak it up like they are a sponge."
Treating Nail Infections
It is possible for those with PC, to get a secondary fungal infection (such as a nail infection or athlete's foot, etc.) An antifungal treatment will not improve the PC condition; it may work well to treat a secondary infection. Most of these drugs are not designed for long term use; they are designed only to treat an infection.
Informal comments from physicians on the IPCRR Physician Panel:
Dr. Peter Hull said "It is possible that the abnormal nails could become infected with fungi including non-dermatophytes. Lamisil would only work to get rid of dermatophyte fungi but the nail would remail abnormal if it was affected by PC."
Dr. Philip Fleckman said "Terbinafine (Lamisil) is a good drug for dermatophyte infections (but not Candida or other yeast infections) of the skin. Dermatophytes are a group of fungi that live in the top part of the outer, barrier layer of the skin (the stratum corneum of the epidermis). Dermatophytes cause athelete's foot (tinea pedis), jock itch (tinea cruris), and most types of nail fungal infections (onychomycosis). Because the nails in PC are thicker than normal, they are often mistaken for nail fungal infection and treated with terbinafine. Unless the nails or feet are infected, I know of no reason why terbinafine would improve PC."
K16 patient "Me on the other hand have it quite bad, well worst after the kids anyway. Now I am at the point where I don't even have PC in spots it is just raw skin and itches really bad. I also see that I am getting athletes foot or real bad itching on top of toes and between as well." Physician "It is possible she could have athlete's foot on top of her PC and if that is the case it should respond to to Lamisil which is a OTC medicine."
??? patient "I've been using Lamisil about 4 months & doctor asked me to stop taking it because it is not going to be get rid my problem."
K16 patient "While chatting with my brother, he told me his new doctor has been giving him Lamisil for his feet (fungal infection) and cordisone shots!! He just doesn't get it about his own feet....and apparently this new doctor hasn't a clue about what PC is!"
K6a patient "The doctor asked that we pick up an anti-fungal cream. She first thought lamisil, but changed to miconazole. At the store the only Miconazole was a 'vaginal' cream, but the pharmacist said okay to use on feet; they just didn't carry the 'foot care' package, but it would be the same. I started immediately to soak my feet with a capful of bleach and then applied the anti-fungal cream (Miconazole). I did that yesterday evening and today morning, and I would say it's already helping me a lot. Since the last 4 or 5 years my feet started to itches a lot, specially in the heels, and since I started with this medication it is not itching anymore. That's great!"
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