Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice 10-Minute Consultation

Fungal nail infection

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 10 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a429


The cuticle is the dead skin at the base of the nail, which seals and
waterproofs the nail bed. If the seal is broken, the nail bed becomes damp and
provides an environment for bacteria, fungi, and infection. The best thing that
we can do with cuticles is to leave them alone, and allow them to serve their
natural protective function. Although nails are considered objects of beauty, it’s
important that all manicures and pedicures avoid the cuticles.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 August 2008
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA