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Green Nail Syndrome

By Chris G. Adigun, MD, Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dermatology & Laser Center of Chapel Hill

Green-nail syndrome is infection with Pseudomonas, a type of bacteria.

Green nail syndrome is caused by an infection with Pseudomonas species. It usually develops in people who have onycholysis (partial separation of the nail bed from the nail plate or loss of the nail plate) and whose hands are often in water. The nail in the area of onycholysis becomes greenish in color. The area can be treated by soaking in a 1% acetic acid solution (diluted vinegar) or an alcohol solution twice a day. Trimming back the nail and treating the underlying cause of the onycholysis may also help and prevent the infection from coming back.

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