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4 Dangers of Acrylic Nails

Kay’s curious…What are the dangers of using acrylic and tips?

The Beauty Brains respond:

The good news is, overall, it’s pretty uncommon for acrylic nails to cause significant health problems. Of course, that’s assuming that the technicians are careful and have properly sterilized their instruments. Nonetheless, there’s still cause for concern. From Dermatology Times, here are four dangers of acrylic nails:

1. Nasty nail abuse

Mistreating your artificial nails can have serious consequences. It’s particularly bad to make the mistake of using your nails as a tool. According to Zoe Draelos, M.D., a High Point, N.C., dermatologist “Some of those nail sculptures are so rigid that a lot of people will use them, for instance, to clean things or as some type of screwdriver. The problem, says Dr Draelos, is that “the bond between the artificial nail and the real nail is stronger than the bond between the real nail and the nail bed, so it rips the nail from the nail bed, and that creates a space for which infection can occur.”

2. Chemical calamity

Chemical allergens used in acrylic nails and nail polishes can also cause problems. The top offenders: formaldehyde (which is used to crosslink polymers), methyl methacrylate (the resin that make up the bulk of the nail); and the tiny metal balls in the bottom of your bottle of nail polish. (That’s because the balls can contain traces of nickel, a known allergen.

3. Cursed UV cure

Gel-sculptured nails (the kind that requires curing with a UV light) can be problematic for people who are on photosensitizing medications. Dr. Draelos warns that “if a customer is taking something like tetracycline, which can sensitize them to light, there could potentially be a phototoxic reaction in the nail bed if the sculptured nails are cured under a bright light.”

4. Perilous polish removal

Nail polish removers can be damaging to (real and artificial!) because of their drying effect. Once the nail is dried out it can easily peel and crack. Dr. Draelos recommends using nail polish remover only every other week – which means you should do a good job of applying polish so it lasts.

Source: Dermatology Times

What do you think? Are fake nails worth tempting fate? Leave a comment and share your worst nail nightmare.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jean November 25, 2013, 6:31 pm

    Yes, I use acrylics … BUT …

    I had many problems with them years ago – fungus, nail damage that took decades to heal …

    Now I use a home LED acrylic kit. I don’t use acetone to remove the artificial nails but wait for the edges to start lifting, then gently peel them away.

    Surprisingly, my nails have grown thicker and tougher despite my removal process. Acrylics have actually protected my nails to allow them to recover and grow beyond the fingertips.

    I’m at an age when the nails naturally thin and become more fragile. Thanks to the LED acrylic kit, my nails are young again. Now if they would only come up with a kit for the rest of my body …

    • Lynnette October 18, 2014, 1:13 pm

      I would like to tell you that acrylic nails do not cause fungus or infections. Acrylic does not damage the nails, poorly trained techs cause problems. Unsanitary and unsafe practices from hack shack places are the root of all even in my industry.
      Next, acetone is not dangerous and will not harm you when used correctly. It also will not damage your nails anywhere near the amount they are being damaged by peeling them off. Peeling takes layers off the nails. Acetone does not.
      Gel polish does not make your nails grow thicker, stronger or better. Your nails are a product of your matrix and that is where the strength comes from. If there was a product that truly made the nails thicker and grow longer, stronger and faster, all the nail salons in the world would be out of business.
      I am curious about your LED “acrylic” kit. As far as I know, and I keep up with everything in my chosen profession as a nailtech, there are NO LED acrylic products on the market.

  • Mary August 14, 2014, 8:12 pm

    I saw a post on the NSI Blog about you guys doing a study compairing UV lamps to LED uv lamps. Did you ever do it? Just wondering if this is just a way for companies to make $$ selling their own brands lamps. Trying to find out if I can cure CND brisa lite in an LED lamp!

    • Randy Schueller August 14, 2014, 8:33 pm

      Hi Mary. We did write a post about UV nail lamps and cancer but I believe it was lost when our server crashed late last year. I’m curious though, what is this “NSI blog” that you saw us on? Do you happen to have a link? Thanks!

  • Joan Aguilar September 15, 2019, 5:27 pm

    I got black spots under my thumb nails after applying acrylic nails. I have no pain on nail bed but unsightly. What may cause it.