Mold may grow on your shower curtain....But it sure ain't gonna grow on your fingernails.
In this article, learn about one of the most common myths about nails, Bacteria, Mould, and Fungi.
Lets get one thing straight before we begin.
Mold may grow on your white, wheat, or rye bread....But it sure ain't gonna grow on your fingernails. Mold is not a human pathogen, therefore the probability of mold growing on your plate is next to nil. While true that mold is a fungus, what people usually experience growing between their plate and the product is not a Fungus. It is a bacterial infection.
Whoopee you solemnly say to yourself. Now, how do I tell the difference between a Fungal and bacterial infection?
Generally characterised by a very light to very dark green stain on and in the plate.
How does this occur?
I'm damn glad you asked.
Generally this type of infection comes about from improper preparation of the nail plate prior to product application. (Though this may not always the case.)
What I mean by properly prepared plate is...Cleansed, sanitised, and dehydrated. Since all we can do during preparation is Sanitise (reduce the number of problem causing pathogens) the plate, the idea is that we remove as many of those lil pathogenic critters as possible, as well as the oil and contaminants that the critters feed off of.
This type of infection can also be caused from clients playing nail tech.
Using nail adhesive to stick down a broken nail, or to stick a fake nail on is a sure fire way to get an infection of this kind as you will be trapping all things needed to produce a greenie.
You don't see doctors that send their patients home with scalpels just in case there is a problem. Don't sell adhesive to your customers.
But I thought it was Moisture that caused mold... I mean bacterial infections?
Moisture is not needed for a bacterial infection to grow. It simply acts as a fertiliser, helping the infection to grow lusher faster.
If you have removed the food that these guys can get fat off of, you should never have a problem with an infection.
Now, the stain that you see, is simply a by-product of the infection. Its like lil bacterial poopoo. It is not the infection, but where the infection has been. But be aware that in some cases simply removing the stain may not be sufficient to remove the infection.
Now what do I do with this warm fuzzy stain ??
Ok, lets say you have got a lil infection...What should you do?
Some common questions:
Can I wear enhancements after a greenie?
- Dissolve product from plate (never force any product off any nail)
- Gently and lightly buff with a 240 grit abrasive to help reduce the stain. (Do not use your abrasive as an eraser!!) you very likely will not be able to remove the stain, just lighten it up a lil. Be sure to throw this abrasive away when your done.
- Cleanse, sanitise, and dehydrate with ScrubFresh to remove the food that the infection is feeding from. If you remove the food, the infection cant grow.
- Reapply product, but keep a close eye on it, if it continues to darken, or look worse...Remove product and refer to a Derm.
Sure. Follow the steps above and as long as the infection isn't serious (large, dark green to black, furry) there shouldn't be a problem. Keep an eye on it and if it appears to worsen with time, disolve the product and refer to a derm.
Can I wear enamel?
Yes please. Enamel is a linear polymer and would provide a very difficult environment for bacteria to reproduce (otherwise people would be getting greenies whenever they wore enamel).
Is it contagious?
Not really in that sense. Lets say that after sanitizing, we have 100,000 lil bacterial dudes hanging around on the nail plate. As long as we don't provide a hospitable environment for them to grow in, they wont be reproducing.
If we have had a bacterial infection, that nail may have 1,000,000 bacterial dudes lounging around. If that's the case, we may increase the bacterial count per nail if we are reusing our abrasives and make a greenie come to life more quickly (only if the environment will support it)
At the end of the day, as long as we do not provide an oxygen-less, oil rich environment... They are not going to grow.
Isnt it called Pseudomonas?
Not really. There are many different types of bacteria thought to be responsible for bacterial infections.
So where are all the Fun Guys?
A fungus is a parasitic plant organism that specialises in decomposition. They, like the Body Snatchers, reproduce and grow from spores (like seeds).
These spores can only be killed through STERILISATION (extreme heat and pressure) and we may only sanitise the nail plate, so what now?? Not to worry! Fungal spores exist on and throughout our body at all times, and like it or not, they are essential to our well being. The only time that the spores become a problem is when they enter the body cavity, and our bodies become overwhelmed.
Since we are not opening the body cavity (right?), we needn't be too concerned with this type of rare infection when it comes to fingernails.
However, be concerned if you see Onycholysis (separation of the plate from the bed.) this is an opening in the body cavity, where a fungal infection is more likely to begin.
A fungal infection of the nail plate is characterised by:
Ok Sameeee, What do I do If I have, or think I have a fungal
- A whitish, crumbly, bulky plate....This is due to the infection entering the layers of the plate, and decomposing the keratin protein.
- An odour may accompany the infection, though this is slight.
- The infection may also head back slowly to the matrix.
If you seriously suspect an infection...Refer to derm. Not even a Dr. can tell if it is an infection...They must take a culture and send it to a lab to see if it sprouts mushrooms or rises bread or something before it can be properly diagnosed.
If an infection is suspected by the Dr., they will prescribe an ORAL MEDICATION to kill the infection.
There is not 1 over the counter product that can kill an active fingernail infection. This claim is made by the FDA for the simple reason that no "Die Fun Guy" (or whatever product you think will do it) can penetrate the plate well enough to actually kill the infection...So I would not bother with wasting my time nor money with them.
An active fungal infection of the plate is VERY hard to kill, and may take months to years to actually kill, in some cases it may never be fully killed. This is due to the fact that the medications are very hard on the liver, and after about 90 days of being on the medications, patients usually have to go off the meds while the liver heals. This in turn will give the infection time to regain some of the ground that was lost during the fight with the meds.