nail softener?


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Apr 5, 2003
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Hi all,

Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a nail softening product available in the UK?

My handicapped sis is extremely phobic about having her toe nails trimmed, and gets so freaked out about it that it has to be done in stages or else the stress would be dangerous for her. (Seriously!) It's even been suggested by one care professional that she be given a general anaesthetic to have them, I don't think so!!!

Anyway, because her nails are very, very thick it would make the task easier and quicker if there was some means of softening them. (Soaking in water has no effect on them by the way). They're as thick as they are because she has fungal infection which can't be treated. (The GP won't prescribe the usual medication as she would be vulnerable to the side-effects, and topical treatments don't touch it).

Sooooo...... I know we're usually looking for nail strengtheners for natural nails, but has anyone ever heard of a nail softener???

Thanks for any replies!
Well hun I have had a thought................

I know it must be hard wanting to help her................Does she object to nail files ???????
I agree a general anaesthetic , is stress in it's self...............
Maybe you could file just a little each day.?????............
I don't know how severely handicapped she is.....but maybe you could turn it into a little game....with a reward at the end, something that she just absolutly adores ?????
Does she like having her toes painted.........maybe a little nailart, pretty flowers .................again just a thought.............
Maybe do her hands............ and then slowly progress to her feet..........
There has to be a reason why she is so affraid of having her toe nails done ????

As for the infection....have you tried tea tree oil, its natures antiseptic and can be used for fungal infection, like athletes foot aso......
Nothing will solve this overnight, but there are some very good alternative remedy's..............................
just a little thought
love Ruth xxxxxxx
Thanks for that Ruthie. 'Fraid neither tea tree oil nor any other topical remedy will work though; it's a very advanced infection. Nails.... she's obsessed with having her finger and toe nails painted - and I do mean obsessed... as in practically every single day! :? (It's just one of her little pleasures).

The reason she's so scared of having her toe nails trimmed is that my Dad was trying to do them for her (years ago) and he accidentally nipped one of her toes when she moved suddenly. Since then we have tears and terrified hysteria every time. I've been kicked in the face soooo many times - not that she's intended to do it.. it's just that she was struggling so much.

I try to get a little filing done about once a week, but she won't tolerate any more often than that. :rolleyes: I keep hoping that the worst infected ones will crumble/fall off and give the chance for some new clean growth, but it never happens. (Fourteen years now!)

Ah well, I'll just have to carry on slowly, slowly..... and maybe invest in some good body armour! Thanks hun.
Bless... I want to make her infection go away :(

You are right that Topical applications wont do diddly... I ass-u-me they dont want to put her on Lamosil for it either (especially as I ass-u-me we are discussing the NHS)

What about removing the infected nails? I know it sounds really harsh... but its pretty common practise for infected toenails as they grow back perfectly fine (as long as the matrix isnt damaged).
If the fungal infection gets back to the matrix, it could result in some very serious problems for her.

As far as softening them... warm soapy water would most likely be your best bet. The soap will help the water absorb faster.
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