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Black nail polish for chemo

dadadada North West SydneyMember Posts: 7
Hello all,

I am about to have my 3rd round of TC in 2 days time. I noticed that 4 of my fingers have darken a bit.

During the last 2 sessions, I did have my fingers painted with black nail polish. Would anyone know the main purpose of black nail polish, is it for  blocking out UV rays during summer? Since it's winter now and I don't do out much, should I still continue painting my nails with black nail polish? Or is nail strengthener good enough? 



  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,676
    You are correct @dada I wore gloves during winter which I felt was protection enough as my nails didn’t get too much any sun. Having said that, I lost three toenails which were very protected but no fingernails. Go figure. However the theory is, the chemicals from treatment react to the sunshine and so we need to protect our nails.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,152
    Many people use dark nail polish to counteract the effects of taxane type chemo which can play havoc with nails - discolouring, lifting, thickening etc. I didn’t and I only got a very light, almost unnoticeable tan film on my fingernails, nothing else. My toenails, covered most of the time, thickened and went black, brown, grey and chalk white. I didn’t lose any but some lifted. So don’t think it’s sunlight! It’s the chemical reaction, and as with nearly all aspects of chemo reactions, it varies enormously. Good luck whatever you decide.
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,678
    Hello @dada
    My understanding is that dark nail polish is used for cosmetic reasons only to cover the nails, Im not aware of any evidence supporting the use of dark nail polish during chemotherapy.  See below information from the BCNA website regarding nail care which mentions the use of nail strengthener.
    All the best with your 3rd round of chemotherapy,
    kind regards
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,941
    Hi @Dada. I used black nail polish on my toes during TC. I lost three toe nails and they all discoloured. I didn't use it on my finger nails. They all badly discoloured and none fell off, though they did get very 'loose'. The damage grew out, and then the nails were incredibly soft and constantly broke. It was a full year before they were back to normal. K xox
  • FlaneuseFlaneuse BrisbaneMember Posts: 882
    @dada I used black nail polish all through chemo and beyond. I didn't lose any nails, but they thickened and got ridges. 10 months after the end of chemo, my fingernails are only VERY slowly becoming less thick and uncomfortable, and are no longer flaky. A few of my toenails lifted, including the two big toes. They are still a problem, because wearing closed shoes (now that the weather is cooler) puts pressure on them and I've ended up with both big toes bruised black under the nail from the pressure. 
    It seems there's no clinical evidence to support wearing of dark nail polish, but I figured if anything MIGHT help ... besides which, the loveliest thing was that my daughter and a couple of friends here, plus two friends in France, wore black nail polish all through my chemo in solidarity with me!
  • dadadada North West SydneyMember Posts: 7
    Thank you all. I still put on the black nail (just in case).  :)
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