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Nail problem after Taxol

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gb2115
gb2115 Member Posts: 553

I finished Taxol in mid November. Last week I noticed some of my fingernails starting to lift from the bed. I see DERM for my regular appointment in a few weeks, so I will show her, but I'm thinking the Taxol? I wonder if it can affect things after the fact. Nails are otherwise ok and there was no nail trauma. I just clipped them all a little shorter but not dramatically short.

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  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    Could be. I don't remember the timing, but lost every finger and toe nail after taxotere. Good you're seeing dermatologist soon. Mine all grew back ok.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
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    gb2115 - may nails began to lift about a month after I finished treatment, MO told me it was common. I, like you, just kept cutting them down until they grew out. Luckily, I did not lose any, but I know others who have. Double checking with the dermatologist is a good idea.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,184
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    Serendipity - yes taxane drugs & platinum drugs, and..... Good chemo thread below with some nail discussions.

    I iced through Taxotere & carboplatin, but both of my big toenails detached. That was 7 years ago and they still haven't really re-attached to the bed. I've seen two different podiatrists, purchased pricey recommended shoes, been tested for fungus, had nails 'sanded to thin' & clipped, and used several different doc prescribed meds for 6 mos to a year. I did refuse oral meds because I'm not comfortable with them. Nails still have not reattached. There is a program to put a hard coating on the nails, but it's not recommended if you have neuropathy, which I do have. SIGH.

    Good luck.

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/69/topics...


  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
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    Minus - UGH! it sucks that after so long they have reattached. My toenail caught on my sock the other day( thanks to Xeloda) and I thought I was going to die, it was so painful. I have really bad neuropathy and it's driving me nuts. Thanks for the thread.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,184
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    Your welcome. I started with my dermatologist (hair/skin & nails) before moving on to a podiatrist. My derm doc originally recommended "Gentamycin" off label - a prescription normally for eyes. I've tried KeraFlex, which I still use. You can now buy on Amazon. It is supposed to thin the nails - but doesn't really help re-attach - just makes then easier to cut. Also tried Tolcylen which I didn't find useful but my new podiatrist loves. I've purchased tea tree oil & eucalyptus oil.

    If anyone can suggest something that works, please let us know.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    I never had my nails lift, but months after chemo ended my thumbnail on my LE side began to split. I had been using vitamin E oil during chemo and stopped when I ran out after chemo. Once it began to split I kept it cut short, but that didn't help much. The nail would continue to split.

    I started using fresh aloe gel on my face and nails because I had it. After a few months I noticed my nail wasn't splitting. If I stop using the aloe for too long, it starts to split again. ???

    Now I keep keep aloe in my freezer and use it about once a week. My nail doesn't split.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,184
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    Great idea. My nails also split. I think I'll try Aloe.

    The Aloe plants in my garden are coming back after our HORRIBLE February 2021 freeze, although the plants are still small. Hope it makes it (with blankets) through the freezes the end of next week.

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
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    SIGH. I stubbed my pinky toenail detached much of the nail. It's not completely detached so I stopped the bleeding and put ointment and a bandaid on it. So annoyed right now. Owie. :-(

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Minus - Hope your plants make it! It’s too cold here for aloes outside except for a few months.

    gb - Ouch!

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
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    I just booked a podiatry appointment for tomorrow afternoon to get my toe looked at. It looks awful. I think the nail needs to come off completely but I don't have the guts to do it myself. Hopefully they will just remove it and the nail bed can start to heal.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,184
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    gb2115 - please do let us know.

  • kotchaj
    kotchaj Member Posts: 214
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    I'm currently attempting to grow out and keep very short all of my fingernails. They all lifted off the nail beds to different degrees as did both of my big toe nails and one of my other toes. UGH. So far, one fingernail has completely grown out. I've got 9 more to go. Toe nails are going to take a whole lot longer.

    It started during Taxol after AC. I finished mid November and am still growing out.

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
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    She trimmed the nail back rather than take if off since it's still partially attached. I have to pick up an antiseptic ointment to put on it. She said if it's bothering me in 2 weeks to call and they will just take the nail off.

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,236
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    gb - I had one lift not long after chemo finished due to an injury. It would not seat over time, just kept lifting. The rest of my nails did great and I did ice during all six TCH infusions. The derm cut the nail totally off, which was freaky, but did the job. I also used an Rx ointment to ward off fungal and bacterial issues. It took six full months to regrow the nail - I kept it covered with a band-aid until it was completely grown out because that area under the nail is super tender and not really attractive. My daughter had a nail that lifted about half way back, also due to an injury - not related to chemo - and I advised her to dip her one finger in peroxide or bleach nightly and use an antifungal OTC med that you could paint on underneath. It worked for her and the nail is now ok.

  • chuckee1104
    chuckee1104 Member Posts: 11
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    Since this thread is approximately 6 months ago, I'm wondering how the nails are coming along. I finished Taxotere in April (one treatment early because of the neuropathic pain), but the nails started hurting and changing near the end even though I did use the ice gloves and footies. Just one big toe is separated, but not sore, so holding on to the nail. Hands are all sore, thumbs are worse (oozed and separated). Had the cut the thumbnails all the way down and wear bandaids when I'm out and about. The other nails are discolored, but only one oozed and separated a big more. Hoping that will mend soon, but interested to know how long for this process for most people? BTW, I did go through this 17 years ago, but don't remember the timelines for restoration.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,184
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    chukee - iced and didn't lose any nails, but my two big toenails separated. That was 2014. Since then they have sort of re-attached & then detached & then sort of reattached & then..... They are discolored and off on on grow thick as horse's hooves. I've been plagued by recurring fungus under those nails that I just can't get rid of. I'm about to meet my 4th podiatrist, but I don't want to take oral medications and most of their topical meds are worthless. I've spent hundreds of dollars on recommended shoes when they said that was the problem. Don't mean to be 'debbie downer' but I hope you have better luck.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    I iced during Taxol. During Taxol I did have some fingernail discomfort that went away after chemo. Over a year later my left thumbnail started to keep splitting no matter how short I trimmed it. I started using a piece of aloe on my face and on my fingernails. That stopped my thumbnail from splitting.

    I had toenail fungus long before cancer. I tried the prescription meds for at least a year with the fungus returning each time after I stopped the meds. Then I tried tea tree oil. It actually worked. Never had toenail fungus again. That and I stopped going to yoga class after seeing someone else with it after I healed.



  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
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    My nail issues are now long forgotten!

  • elderberry
    elderberry Member Posts: 1,067
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    My pinky toe nails are thick and the one on the right foot always lifts up and then falls off. It has been doing that now for a few years since Taxol. My other nails are fine. My finger nails are brittle and splitting just as they get past the bed. I have to keep them filed down to nubs. It might be the H&P?

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,465
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    It's been 3 years since Taxol (paclitaxel) for me and my nails are much like what Elderberry describes above. My toenails are thick, difficult to cut, they crack easily, and a couple of them are now growing sideways. One of the little toe nails is super thick and doesn't seem to grow at all. It just crumbles and flakes. None of them have lifted or come off though. I've considered seeing a podiatrist, but I've never been sure that they are legit and not quacks. I heard some terrible stories about them growing up and as a younger adult.

    Fingernails very dry, brittle, crack easily, and I have to keep them clipped to nothing.

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
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    I've seen a couple of podiatrists who are great. I got a new one back in the winter when I stubbed my toe and most of my nail came off. I was able to get a next day appt. I was afraid she would want to take the rest off, but she didn't do anything other than x-ray and give me ointment, but seeing her gave me the reassurance that I needed that it would be ok. Truly most of nail popped off and it really freaked me out.

    Anyway, I would definitely go back to her with other toenail problems.

    You could also see a dermatologist though.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,465
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    gb2115 - Thanks for your comment and the info. Way back in the day I remember a local podiatrist was caught up in a Medicare billing scheme where he had been removing people's toenails unnecessarily. A year or so before that, I had been visiting an elderly lady once a week as a volunteer and she had been to that podiatrist, and sure enough, he had removed her nail. She said it was excrutiatingly painful. Others I've heard from that had nails removed also tell of nothing but excrutiating pain until a new nail grows in.

    On the other hand, I visit adult family homes as part of my job and occasionally when I've been to some, there have been visiting "foot doctors" seeing all the residents, and they seem to be fine and both the residents and operators of the homes seem satisfied and even happy with these podiatrists.

    There is a real good medical clinic not far from me that I often go to for urgent care. I've noticed that they have a resident podiatrist, so I might try that, since that clinic is stocked with very reputable MD's, and other specialists. I can't believe they would have someone on their staff who isn't legitimate.

    Some of these treatment problems just seem to go on forever - years past treatment. Ugh!