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October 1966

Reactions to Nail Hardeners

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Arch Dermatol. 1966;94(4):446-448. doi:10.1001/archderm.1966.01600280064012

A severe reaction to the formaldehyde component of a nail hardener is reported. The nail changes consisted of subungual hemorrhages, discoloration of the nail, onycholysis, subungual hyperkeratosis, and dryness of the skin. It was necessary to administer a steroid orally for 15 days to relieve the intense throbbing pain, the edema, and the bluish discoloration. Five other patients with nail damage were observed who had positive reactions to formaldehyde and the nail hardeners. In these latter patients the nails and skin returned to normal when the hardeners were discontinued, and the reactions subsided spontaneously.

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