Broken Fingernail

For more than 2 and a half decades, I have lived with a broken nail. I remember it being accidentally slammed between the hinges of my grandmother’s door. It must have hurt a lot but fortunately, I don’t remember the pain. I must have been around 7 or 8 years old. Since then, I have lived with the crooked fingernail. A new crooked nail would grow on top and fall off, only to be replaced by another crooked nail.

It is a small thing, really. It does not hurt. It’s just ugly, that’s it. It’s embarrassing to me when people see it, so over the years I’ve learned to hide it. When I finally started taking an interest in painting my nails, I’d get the nail artists to stick on a fake nail. No big deal.

My broken fingernail

There were times when I thought about getting it fixed. Perhaps I could ask the nail doctor to surgically remove the crooked nail, so a new one would grow in its place. But there was never a right time. It was never a priority. I couldn’t afford to waste time or resources on such a trivial thing.

Finally, this year a friend noticed the nail and asked me, why don’t you go the doctor. They can easily fix that. That’s an infection. I said, no way. It can’t be an infection. I do not feel any pain. It has never spread beyond the one nail. It must be dead nerves. Anyway, I began researching. What kind of doctor does one go to, to fix their broken nails? Who is the nail doctor?

FYI, it’s a dermatologist. That’s 皮膚科 in Japanese.

I looked up the dermatologists in my area. I found one within cycling distance. I chose her because she appeared to be doing “face peeling” as well, so I thought I wouldn’t be embarrassed going there for such a minor thing when there lots of people suffering with severe skin problems. If she does chemical peels, I thought, she would understand vanity.

When I first went, the bad nail cover had just fallen off. She told me to grow it and go back for examination. I went back after two weeks and she looked under the microscope and declared a fungal infection.

Wait a minute. I have lived with this fungus in my nail for more than 25 years?

She advised anti-fungal meds that I have to take for more than 6 weeks. It does take quite a long time to grow out an entire nail.

Could it really have been this simple? All this time, I could have swallowed some tablets and grown a new nail.

I’m currently religiously taking the tablets and waiting. Patiently.

[Update: I’m healed!]

Speaking of things cosmetic, I have a friend who has severe dental fluorosis and she needs some dental work done so she can smile again. If you have discoloured teeth, you know how that can ruin your confidence. However, it’s very expensive to get crowns so she’s reaching it for your help (Just google to see how much it costs in Japan. Millions! So she’s hoping to do it in Turkey). Please consider donating.

While nail infections are covered by the national health insurance (with the 30% co-pay), crowns/veneers are not covered, even if you have severe dental fluorosis. I think that should change.

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3 Responses to Broken Fingernail

  1. CleverBunny says:

    An infection!? No way! Now you mention it, I remember my dad had a fungal nail infection at some point when I was growing up too, but it was so long ago that I can’t remember clearly. If it does clear up so easily that will be a miracle! Will you keep us updated? And I hope your friend gets the money she needs for her treatment too 😭 Japan’s dental care really isn’t as comprehensive as I might have expected it to be before coming here…


    • SK says:

      Of course, I’ll keep you all updated on the progress. Already, I can see some changes but things seem to be progressing very slowly.


  2. Pingback: Nail Update: I’m Healed! | Savvy Kenya in Japan

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