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Chemo and finger nails

TigergirlTigergirl Member Posts: 23
edited February 1 in General discussion
I finished 16 rounds of chemo in September 2019 yet I still have white patches on the top of most fingernails - does anyone else have this issue? 


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,518
    Nails are very susceptible to some forms of chemo - it is temporary and will grow out in time but may be much slower than you would like! Best wishes.
  • TigergirlTigergirl Member Posts: 23
    Thanks - I’d hoped after 17 months they might be back to normal but no! 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,518
    I’ve still got a white mark on a toenail - 8 years! But it’s going - just slowly! 
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 802
    After finishing 4 X AC chemo...I had four distinct lines which were dark, horizontal (so side to side). These are called "Beau Lines" During the 12 X Paclitaxel chemo, my finger nails started forming ridges which went the other way...so from cuticle to fingertip....almost like corduroy. The beau lines were still there, but grew out one by one. With my toenails, the big toe on the right foot went a horrible grey/brown/ chalky colour and formed large flakes like fish scales. I also developed pus under the nail (paronychia), which was drained three times and also required antibiotics. That same big toe nail is still deformed, and large chalky flakes and lumps regularly fall off. I've lost the entire nail three times altogether over the last four and a half years. My fingernails still have the ridges which I make smooth with a fine emory board.
  • TigergirlTigergirl Member Posts: 23
    Thanks - I’d hoped after 17 months they might be back to normal but no! Looks like I’ll have problems for a while 🤔
  • noosa_blue150noosa_blue150 Buderim QLD Member Posts: 82
    Damn . I only finished chemo about 2 months ago but was hopeful they’d get better sooner rather than later. May have to be patient and not expect miracles . 
  • TigergirlTigergirl Member Posts: 23
    I think it depends a lot on how you cared for them during treatment I have to admit my nails weren’t my top priority 😝😝
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 802
    I'm not so sure that what you paint on top of the nail (which is in any case dead nail tissue) has that much of an effect. The poisoning to the living nail bed is systemic throughout the whole body and that is where the majority of the damage is done. The advise on painting the nails with a dark polish may block out the UV rays from sunlight, but other than that, I have found no scientific evidence to show this is effective. There is anecdotal evidence where some patients have said that they painted their nails black or blue or whatever, and had little or no damage, but they might in any case have been one of those fortunate people to escape yucky nails. I would be more interested if a large cohort of patients painted only one hand, throughout treatment, and then afterwards, compared both...or each alternate nail, both left hand and right so there could be no later claims of left side/right side preference of dominant versus non dominant hand and associated wear and tear damage.
  • TigergirlTigergirl Member Posts: 23
    You make good points there - need to investigate more that’s for sure. 
  • Cath62Cath62 Brisbane Member Posts: 297
    Hi, I finished chemo in September 2020 and my fingernails are weak and have white lines on them. My toenails crack and one big toenail is started to go black. 🙁
  • TigergirlTigergirl Member Posts: 23
    I guess as long as the treatment kills those damn cancer cells we have to put up with some side effects 😢😢
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,858
    I finished chemo in Oct 2019 and still have ridges on my nails. They disappeared for a short time and then reappeared. They are currently starting to look okay again.
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