What are these green spots on my nails?!?

When I first started doing my nails it wasn’t cute. It looked like a child did them and I started to notice that a few of my nails were starting to get this dark green spot on them which was weird because this never happened when I went to the nail salon. I soaked off the dip powder shell and spent a few days researching what went wrong. Here is what I learned…

To be honest, I’m not really sure…

I’m not a doctor but from my research a couple different things could have caused these dark green spots: bacteria or fungus. Yes, BACTERIA or FUNGUS! Both make me cringe. I’m not a dirty person and immediately became self conscious about it. Why did this happen and what can I do to prevent this from happening again?!

Bacteria vs Fungus

One culprit is “pseudomonas” which is a bacteria commonly found all over the environment including places like soil, water, plants, animals, etc. If there is exposure of this bacteria beneath the nail this bacteria could grow causing the green spots

Another culprit is fungus. A fungal infection could occur from the accumulation of moisture under the nail.

It seems like although I don’t know for sure which of the two caused the green spots, I do know that both can occur from the dip powder shell lifting from the actual nail allowing contaminated substances or moisture in this space.

How to prevent the dip powder shell from lifting?

When I first started doing my nails myself I would manually buff my nail with a buffing block (before the professional nail drill days), then I’d wash my hands and then begin the dip powder steps.

Manually buffing the nails with a buffing block takes longer (than with the nail drill) and it also makes it difficult to buff the entire nail surface which could prevent the dip powder shell from adhering properly to the entire nail causing it to lift…which my friends… allows for entry of substances such as water and moisture which may allow this lovely pseudomonas bacteria or fungus growth.

How to sanitize the nails before applying dip powder?

I wash my hands and then I wipe each nail with a pad saturated in rubbing alcohol prior to starting the dip powder process.

How to get rid of it?!

I did not see any way to get rid of it unfortunately unless consulting a doctor (which I thought was pointless). I had to be patient and wait for them to grow out with my natural nail. I did not do my nails while these green spots were visible and just kept my nails clean and dry.

What to take away:

  • For sanitary purposes: make sure you wipe the nail with an alcohol soaked pad before starting the dip powder steps to ensure the nail is clean
  • Sterilize equipment by using heat sterilization or soaking items in germicidal solution
  • To prevent lifting: make sure you buff the entire nail efficiently so the dip polish adheres well to the nail and avoid the cuticle when applying the base and top polish
  • I wouldn’t recommend the dip powder system if you do not want to buff your nail


I’ve never had these dark spots return on my nails since following the above instruction!! Thanks for checking out my article. I hope these tips are helpful if you experience the same problems I once did!

Sam W

Owner & Head Writer for DIYBeautyAtHome.com

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