Your Fake Nails Could Be Having This Horrible Effect On Your Body

August 14, 2018

Despite the high price, it can be hard to resist the allure of false nails. They typically look longer and stronger than our regular nails, they allow you to go longer between trips to the nail salon, and they just tend to look really awesome. However, this beauty trend might not be the best idea for everyone. As it turns out, your fake nails could have a horrible effect on your body that you probably want to avoid.

Just last last week, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) crushed the spirits of many when they issued a formal warning stating that you can actually be allergic to false nails.

In fact, the popularity of false nails has caused an “allergy epidemic” in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


BAD wrote, “It is really important that people know they can develop allergies from artificial nails. The truth is that there will be many women out there with these allergies who remain undiagnosed, because they may not link their symptoms to their nails, especially if the symptoms occur elsewhere on the body.”

Just in case you were thinking that you might pretend you never read this and go on with your life, enjoying your false nails, BAD strongly recommends getting a diagnosis to avoid the allergen, because it can be found in products other than false nails. They said, “Developing an allergy to these chemicals can have lifelong consequences for dental treatments and surgeries where devices containing these allergens are in common use.” Yikes!

In order to come to this sad conclusion, BAD conducted two different studies on fake nails. One was done in 2017, and tested about 5,000 patients in various dermatology clinics across the U.K. and Ireland for an allergy to (meth)acrylate chemicals, which are one of the main ingredients in acrylic nails, gel nails, and gel nail varnish. They found that 2.4 percent of participants were allergic to at least one type of (meth)acrylate — women made up 93 percent of the people affected.

The other study was done by BAD and Stylfile. They looked at 742 people visiting dermatology clinics. 19 percent of the people admitted to experiencing negative side effects after visiting a nail salon for acrylics, and 16 percent said the same thing about gel nails. One seven-year study, released in 2014, found that allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is traditionally found among dentists, printers, and fibreglass workers, as well as nail technicians and those who get fake nails.

The scariest part about this allergy is that it doesn’t just affect your nails or your fingers — it can affect your whole body. According to DermaNet NZ, people who are allergic can experience dermatitis reactions that can affect the fingernails, eyelids, in and behind the ears, around the mouth and chin, sides of the neck, and sometimes even the genitals. That’s because it can affect skin that comes into direct contact with the wet chemical.

It might not happen at a salon using safe practices, but it could happen more often with DIY treatments at home.

The side effects of the allergy include redness and swelling, blisters, and dry and bumpy skin in the area that made direct contact. It could also lead to more serious infections if left untreated.

So should you stop getting false nails completely? That’s probably not necessary. Consultant dermatologist Dr. Deirdre Buckley, who led the audit of dermatology units last year, recommends using extra caution with home kits, saying, “If you do use one, make sure that you use the recommended UV lamp for curing (hardening), and read the instructions carefully.”

If you notice a strange, unexplained rash anywhere on your body and you use false nails, you should definitely head to a dermatologist.