A new report finds that nearly one-third of all U.S. adults have at least one skin problem that causes them to scratch their nails, even though the average person only needs to scratch once a week to get sick.
The study, published in the American Journal of Dermatology, found that about a third of Americans have at a minimum one of those skin problems that could be considered allergic, which is a potentially serious condition.
In other words, it’s possible for someone with a dermatologic condition to have some allergies that can cause them to be allergic to natural nail polish.
The report, which looked at 1,061 people between the ages of 18 and 64, also found that nearly 20 percent of people reported scratching their nails at least once a month.
This means that more than 40 percent of the people surveyed have been scratched at least twice in the past month, according to the study.
“This is one of the most common allergies that people have to nail polish,” said lead author Michael E. Miller, MD, a dermatologist and clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania.
“When you scratch, you expose your skin to all the allergens that your body produces.
This makes it hard for the body to repair itself.”
Researchers studied the data for the study and found that in addition to scratching, people with the most skin allergies are also more likely to have dry skin, itch, and to have red or blue skin color.
Those with the least skin allergies also had the least red and blue skin tone, according the study, and were also more often found to have itching and rashes.
“If you scratch your nails, you are exposing your skin and your body to a wide range of allergens,” Miller said.
“And you are exposed to all of those things when you scratch.”
Miller, along with his colleagues from the University at Buffalo and the University College London, said they wanted to determine if there were any differences between people with allergies and non-allergic people.
“People who have a certain skin allergy can have different skin colors and the severity of their skin problems,” Miller explained.
“People who don’t have allergies are more likely, on average, to have problems with itching and rash and dry skin.”
To find out if skin allergies were associated with skin conditions like rashes and itching, the researchers conducted a series of skin testing and compared the results to people who had a skin allergy and people without a skin problem.”
We didn’t find that people who have the most severe skin allergy are more prone to having these issues.”
To find out if skin allergies were associated with skin conditions like rashes and itching, the researchers conducted a series of skin testing and compared the results to people who had a skin allergy and people without a skin problem.
People who had more severe allergies to natural nails were more likely than those with less severe allergies or no skin allergies to have skin problems, the study found.
“What we saw in the skin test is that the people who didn’t have any allergies to nails had red skin tone and they had more skin problems than people who did,” Miller told ABC News.
The study is the first to look at the relationship between skin allergies and skin conditions, Miller said, and is the latest in a series to study the link between allergy symptoms and skin diseases.
“I think it’s important to look more deeply into the relationships between skin conditions and skin allergies,” Miller added.
“It’s important for dermatologists to be aware of all the different skin problems people have,” he said.
Miller said there are many different ways to treat skin conditions.
For example, some people might be allergic and have a skin condition that does not affect their skin.
For people with allergic skin, he said, they may need to use a skin patch or use a moisturizer that helps moisturize the skin.
Other researchers have found skin problems linked to allergies, but this is the most comprehensive study yet looking at how these conditions may affect the immune system, Miller explained, and also whether there is a correlation between skin allergy symptoms or the severity or frequency of skin problems.
“We know that skin allergies have a genetic component,” Miller noted.
“The genetic component is more common among people who live in colder climates or have lower immune systems.
So, I think that it is more likely that people living in these climates, as well as those living in areas with more severe climates, are more at risk for these conditions.”
Follow ABCNews.com health and science reporter Jill Disis on Twitter at @JillDisis.