Green Nail Syndrome

Green Nail Syndrome is a very common condition persisting in the inhabitants of a warm and moist local climate. The toenails (at first) start showing a certain greenish or bluish-green discoloration from the normal translucent white. This slowly progresses into the darkening of the color, if remain untreated.

This is caused due to a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas is a moisture loving species of bacteria. The toenails might accumulate an excess amount of moisture at times, leading to this type of bacterial infection.

 Green Nail Syndrome

The Pseudomonas bacteria form colonies in the nail bed in a very short time. They release a peculiar green chemical which imparts the color to the nail. As these activities occur below the nail (on the nail bed), scratching your nails from the outside won’t help in removing the color. The bacteria loves moisture and hence can grow only in wet environments.

The infection can spread from the tips of the nail beds to the entire nail as well. Although these cases are reported as painful most of the times, in case you feel any pain, make sure that you consult your dermatologist for an effective treatment plan.

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Why is the Green Nail Syndrome Caused?


1. Factors supporting the growth of bacteria


A warm water bath or a long soak in the pool might be the main reasons for the development of this syndrome. The bacteria loves to reproduce when it is exposed to warm moisture. The nail bed serves as the first line of defense against the bacteria. But, due to a long exposure of the bed to water, it gets a bit leaky. As they do so, the bacteria starts proliferating and reproducing at a higher rate.


The infections can be found in warm water sources which are left stagnant for a while. Always make sure you swim in a pool which is cleaned regularly to avoid infections.

2. Exposure to Trauma


A traumatic experience to the toe generally exposes the nail bed. These lead to a higher chance of the bed being infected by the aforementioned bacterium. Trauma can be caused due to excessive nail cutting, haphazard manicure or a pedicure, stumbling over a solid object, etc. These cases are most common in children as they tend to fall over easily.

3. Having a History of Diseases


Certain diseases of the kidney, cancers, tumors, thyroid conditions may lead to the higher occurrence of pseudomonas infection. Though there hasn’t been found a suitable link to these diseases, a study has shown that the individuals suffering from the above said diseases are at a greater risk of developing the green nail syndrome.

4. Your Gene Sequence


Genes are handed down to you along the family tree by your parents. They play an important role in the development of your immune system. Certain people are more sensitive and at prone to the development of the syndrome than others. There is nothing one can do to solve this scenario. The gene distribution is random throughout the population!

Do not panic in case you see your nail turning green in the future, now you surely know that it isn’t you turning into SHREK!




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