Mon, Feb 3rd, 2014

‘Too much polish wrecked my toenails!’ Woman left with crumbling nails – and loses three – after changing her varnish every day for 20 years

  • Mother-of-two Subhain, 31, changed her polish daily for 20 years
  • Left with yellowed crumbling toenails because of varnish remover
  • Three were so bad, they had to be removed but haven’t grown back
  • Has to wear closed-toe flats because heels are now too painful

Whether matte, leather look or in a delicate pastel hue, nailpolish is rapidly becoming a cheap and chic way to score style points.

But although its tempting to change your colour as often as you change your clothes, overdoing the lacquer can have disastrous consequences, as one London mother discovered.

Two decades of repeatedly changing her polish left mother-of-two Subhain, 31, with unsightly yellowed, crumbling nails and, worse, without any at all on three toes.

As a result, the stay-at-home mother is unable to wear open-toed shoes, while the painful exposed skin on three of her toes mean heels are also out of the question.

‘It might seem like a little thing but to me it’s a big thing,’ she explained, adding: ‘It really gets me down.’

Her problems began two years ago, when she began to notice a dryness and yellowing. ‘They just started to go really weak and crumble off,’ she adds.

A polish habit that had lasted for two decades was to blame, made worse by her insistence on removing and replacing the varnish almost every day.

From a very young age, I’ve been painting my toenails and I’ve been using nailpolish remover on them.

‘Nailvarnish remover can cause problems because it contains a chemical called acetone which saps the moisture from the nails,’ explains leading dermatologist, Dr Sam Bunting.

‘It leaves them weak, brittle and dry and with this sort of flaking, crumbling problem.’

At first Subhain attempted to combat the damage alone. ‘They were going very yellow and very weak,’ she explains.

‘I stopped painting them for a while but when I started again, they began to crumble off.’

Unable to solve the problem, she went to the doctors and asked to have the worst-affected toenails removed.

‘They had a sort of plier thing to remove the nails with,’ she remembers. ‘I was really happy because I thought they would grow back baby-fresh, brand new…’

When, a year after having the toenails removed, she returned to the doctor to find out why they weren’t growing back, she had an unpleasant surprise in store.

‘She said they’re never growing back,’ says Subhain. ‘I said “no one told me they wouldn’t grow back” and I was totally devastated and it looks disgusting. Getting my nails removed, that’s my biggest regret.’

Despite trying everything from false nails to painting polish directly onto the nailbed, Subhain is yet to find a solution and complains that finding footwear is impossible.

Her lack of toenails has also had a huge impact on her confidence. ‘I’ve seen people in their 60s, 70s and 80s with lovely nails,’ she adds. ‘I’m too young to have no toenails.’

But she has no choice. According to Dr Bunting, her nails will never grow back so the only option is custom made prosthetic nails.

For Subhain, the cost of pretty toenails has proved heavier than she could ever have imagined.

Subhain appears on Extreme Beauty Disasters, Thursday at 8pm on TLC

read more: www.dailymail.co.uk

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