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Does Nail Polish Cause Nail Fungus?



Nail polish does NOT cause nail fungus.

More Info: Nail fungus is most often picked up in wet and humid conditions such as is the case with public locker rooms. Those who have an open sore or wound on the hands or feet are more susceptible to developing nail fungus, as this provides an opening for it to enter the body in. Nail fungus can also occur after exposure to irritants, especially those that weaken the immune system.

Increases Susceptibility

While nail polish does not cause fungus to grow, it can make an individual more susceptible to developing it later. That’s because it tends to weaken the nail bed, and weak nails are more susceptible to developing fungus. It also makes it more difficult for the nail to breathe, in which case fungus has a moister environment in which to multiply.

Avoid Using to Cover

Those who are already affected by nail fungus should not use polish to cover it up. This could actually slow down the healing process rather than expedite it. Topical medications cannot reach the nail bed when polish is used because it provides a protective barrier that prevents this from happening. It also makes it more difficult to exfoliate the nail in order to remove harmful fungus. Having manicures or pedicures is also not recommended, as fungus could be spread to other patrons via the use of manicure instruments.

Benefits of Natural Polish

Those who enjoy wearing nail polish should opt for one that contains natural ingredients whenever possible. This polish should also be discarded after one year so that bacteria do not have a chance to accumulate inside the bottle.



“Nail Fungus –” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013.

“Fungal nail infection: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013.

“Fungal Nail Infections-Topic Overview.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013.

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