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Health Tip: Fake Nails Can Lead to Real Infections

Here are some symptoms to look for

(HealthDayNews) -- Some women think artificial nails do wonders for their appearance. But whether applied at home or by a professional, artificial nails can lead to bacterial and fungal infections, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

A bump to a long artificial nail may cause it to lift from the natural nail at the base, leaving an opening for dirt and bacteria. If the nail is reglued without being properly cleaned, bacteria or fungi may grow between the nail and spread into the natural nail.

Also, a fungal infection can take hold when an acrylic nail is left in place too long -- three months or more -- and moisture accumulates under the nail.

Symptoms of an infection include pain, redness, itching and pus in or around the nail. If the nail becomes infected, the artificial product should be removed and the area cleaned thoroughly with soap and water. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.

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