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First Aid for Cuticle Remover Poisoning

Last updated Feb. 22, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

Cuticles are dead skin tissue layers found at the base of the nails (on fingers and toes); they offer protection to the nail base. Cuticle Remover Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake (swallowing) of any product containing the compound.

What is Cuticle Remover Poisoning?

  • Cuticles are dead skin tissue layers found at the base of the nails (on fingers and toes); they offer protection to the nail base
  • Cuticle removers are cosmetic (chemical) formulations that soften the cuticles allowing them to be easily removed, especially when there is an overgrowth of the skin
  • Cuticle Remover Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake (swallowing) of any product containing the compound
  • The condition is diagnosed based upon the clinical history, combination of signs and symptoms, and additional tests (that may include, in some cases, radiological studies and laboratory tests)

Cuticle Remover Poisoning may be also referred to as Cuticle Remover Toxicity.

What are the Causes of Cuticle Remover Poisoning?

  • Cuticle Remover Poisoning is caused by the ingestion of cuticle remover creams or lotions
  • This intake could be accidental, or in some cases intentional, to bring self-harm
  • Cuticle remover creams may consist of alpha hydroxy acids that are considered mild, or strong chemical alkalis, such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide

Note: The compound can interact with other prescribed or non-prescribed medications in the body. Such interactions may enhance the therapeutic effects of other medications being taken, resulting in undesired side effects.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cuticle Remover Poisoning?

The signs and symptoms of Cuticle Remover Poisoning can vary from one individual to another. It may be mild in some and severe in others. Several systems of the body, such as the vascular system, digestive system, respiratory system, and ENT may be affected.

The signs and symptoms of Cuticle Remover Poisoning may include:

  • Burns and associated pain in the mouth and throat; drooling from the mouth
  • Stomach pain that may be severe
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties, due to the throat being affected
  • Speaking and swallowing difficulties
  • If the substance gets in the eye, then eye irritation, redness, and pain
  • Sudden decrease in blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Collapse

How is First Aid administered for Cuticle Remover Poisoning?

First Aid tips for Cuticle Remover Poisoning:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency help number immediately, for emergency assistance
  • Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or your local poison control center) for further instructions
  • Provide them with information such as the compound taken, quantity and time of ingestion, age, weight and general health status of affected individual
  • Confirm that the airways are protected; also, ensure breathing and the presence of pulse
  • If involvement of the eye has occurred, then wash thoroughly with copious amounts of water (for at least 15 minutes)
  • Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, DO NOT induce vomiting in the affected individual
  • Otherwise, following an ingestion of the substance, immediately give milk or water to drink
  • In case of symptoms that indicate difficulty in swallowing including vomiting or decreased alertness, do not give anything by way of mouth
  • Take individual to emergency room (ER) for further treatment
  • Always try to take the product bottle/container to the ER

The emergency medical health professional might perform the following steps towards treating the condition:

  • Medically manage symptoms and provide breathing support, if necessary
  • Administer medications to counter the effects of the ingested substance
  • Wash eyes repeatedly and thoroughly (irrigation), to eliminate any remaining hazardous compound
  • Following this, a suitable skin or eye ointment may be used to treat the exposure
  • Surgical treatment for skin burns including removal of burnt skin (if necessary)
  • Administer fluids by an intravenous drip line

Who should administer First Aid for Cuticle Remover Poisoning?

First aid for Cuticle Remover Poisoning is administered by healthcare professionals.

  • The individual who is affected, or someone near, should call 911 for emergency assistance (or the local emergency number)
  • They should also call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow instructions

What is the Prognosis of Cuticle Remover Poisoning?

  • The prognosis of Cuticle Remover Poisoning is dependent on the amount of substance consumed, time between consumption and treatment, severity of the symptoms, as well as general health status of the patient
  • If the individual can recover from the symptoms with appropriate medication and early support, the outcome is generally good
  • Severe exposure of body organs (mouth, throat, gastrointestinal tract including stomach) to the chemical can lead to complications (internal bleeding and infection) and irreversible damage. However, such incidents are seldom observed due to Cuticle Remover Poisoning

In general, toxicities are common situations in the emergency departments. A majority of the cases are often not fatal, when appropriate treatment is given.

How can Cuticle Remover Poisoning be Prevented?

Cuticle Remover Poisoning can be prevented by:

  • Always following instructions for usage of any chemical product
  • Keeping cosmetics, medications, and other healthcare products out of reach of children in child-proof containers
  • Be aware of basic first aid steps in case of an emergency (such as inadvertent poisoning)

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) for emergency assistance, if symptoms are life-threatening
  • Call Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow the recommend steps
  • It would be helpful if the following information is readily available:
    • Type, amount and time of consumption of the substance
    • Age and weight of the individual
    • And, the overall health status of the individual

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 2, 2017
Last updated: Feb. 22, 2018