The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-31-2008, 10:45 AM
KittenKat KittenKat is offline
Sweet & darling
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: SE CT, USA
Posts: 160
Colonoscopies & Cosmetics

Hi, all!

Having reached the magical age of 50, I am scheduled for my first ever colonoscopy. The information/prep package I was given says I should not wear make-up or nail polish. I mentioned this to a friend of mine, and asked if he knew why nail polish wasn't allowed. He didn't, and said he would ask his neighbor, Dee, who works for a gastroentologist (this is what I actually expected from him). Well, the word back from Dee is that she doesn't know why, some doctors permit it, some don't, but none (she knows) permit gel nails.

This information caused me to go . I've been wearing gel nails for around twelve years now. Well, the info I have does not address gel nails, so I am not going to worry about it. But it does bring me back to the no nail polish question. Does anyone know why nail polish is discouraged? Aside from just wanting to know out of curiosity, here's my problem: I am scheduled to get my nails done two days before my procedure (my nail appointment is next Wednesday, my colonoscopy is next Friday). Foregoing nail polish is not a problem; I actually haven't worn polish on my finger nails in over a year. What I have worn is colored gel. So, can/should I get my nails done with bright pink gel as planned? Would a french maincure be a better choice (white gel on the tips, sheer pink gel on the rest of the nail)? Or should I just go with the basic clear gel, and polish my nails after the procedure is done? I suppose this last is the most sensible choice, but I really, really would like to know the whys and wherefores of the whole thing. Can anyone help?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-31-2008, 11:41 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Is there some reason you can't just postpone your manicure until after the colonoscopy? I'm having trouble seeing why a minor cosmetic procedure is so important that it can't be put off until after the important medical procedure that prohibits it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-31-2008, 12:15 PM
KCB615 KCB615 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Southcoast Massachusetts
Posts: 792
Nail polish fouls up the blood oxygen sensor. That's the little clip - it looks like a large clothespin - that goes over the tip of a finger. It uses light to determine how much oxygen your blood is carrying. Nail polish (or gel nails) will mess up that light transmission, giving a false reading on the meter.
__________________
Service to the falling public....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-31-2008, 02:25 PM
KittenKat KittenKat is offline
Sweet & darling
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: SE CT, USA
Posts: 160
KCB615: Thanks. I've never had/used/been subjected to(?) one of those sensors, and would have had no clue as to how they work. I guess I'd better call the doctor's office Monday morning and see what their preference is.

jayjay: As I mentioned, I've been wearing gel nails for years. I've got the gel overcoat on my nails right now; if the doctor's office says I need to get rid of it, I'll keep the Wednesday appointment so my nail tech can file the gel off, then make another appointment next week to have new gel put on. I didn't mean to whine about how the medical procedure was interfering with the cosmetic one. I wanted to know "the straight dope" so I would know what to do about my nails so that the medical procedure was not jeopardized or compromised.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-31-2008, 02:28 PM
freckafree freckafree is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Nail polish, lipstick, heavy foundation, etc., also mask the visual signs of low blood oxygen -- bluish tint to lips and nails, pale skin, etc.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-31-2008, 02:54 PM
KittenKat KittenKat is offline
Sweet & darling
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: SE CT, USA
Posts: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckafree
Nail polish, lipstick, heavy foundation, etc., also mask the visual signs of low blood oxygen -- bluish tint to lips and nails, pale skin, etc.
This is pretty much what my semi-educated guess was as to why make-up and nail polish are not permitted. And if this is the sole reason, then clear polish or gel ought to be okay. But as I said, I will call the doctor's office on Monday to see what they prefer that I do. Thanks for replying.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-31-2008, 09:54 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 21,639
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKat
This is pretty much what my semi-educated guess was as to why make-up and nail polish are not permitted. And if this is the sole reason, then clear polish or gel ought to be okay. But as I said, I will call the doctor's office on Monday to see what they prefer that I do. Thanks for replying.
As long as you're calling the office, you could maybe ask them if it would be okay if you could get all but one or two nails done and leave those 'blank.'
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-01-2008, 11:40 AM
Juliette: Culture Junkie Juliette: Culture Junkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
While nail polish will mess up the reading, henna on the fingernails will not.
http://www.hennapage.com/henna/encyc...a/fingernails/
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-01-2008, 02:16 PM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
You can ask them to put the sensor on your toe or earlobe if you can't bear to give up your gel nails. Both work.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-01-2008, 06:59 PM
KittenKat KittenKat is offline
Sweet & darling
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: SE CT, USA
Posts: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgirl
You can ask them to put the sensor on your toe or earlobe if you can't bear to give up your gel nails. Both work.
Thanks, I will keep this in mind.

Geez, though, I hope I haven't come off as a prima donna. Sure, I've got my share of vanity, but I do realize that my health comes before having my nails look nice. Even if it were as easy to go to the medical appointment "bare-nailed" as it is to go bare-faced, I'd still want to know why, just to know. As it is, if I need to get the gel filed off this week and new gel applied next week, well, it's an incomvenience, but only a minor one. And no one ever said life is convenient, right?

So thank you to all who responed. I really appreciate the info.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-01-2008, 08:03 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
I do apologize for my tone...I completely misread your tone in the OP.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-02-2008, 05:52 AM
LorieSmurf LorieSmurf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Yes, ask if they can wrap the sensor probe around your toe. I don't see why that should hinder the procedure in any way. They should get the same readings unless you have some sort of major circulation problem.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.