I wore acrylic nails for years. I was getting my nails done at a reputable salon paying $35 a fill. All of a sudden I started having some itching by the cuticle. Sometimes that area would become a little pink in color. The itching would typically last a couple of days. I kept going in for fills and ignored all the signs of this allergy. Finally, I had to take them off. My nail under the acrylic started to show some discoloration. Remember, this was after repeated fills with itching that I choose to ignore.
Within a few weeks of removing the acrylic nails, my real nails did pull away from my finger and basically came right off. I had very little nail still attached by the cuticle. Yes, the top of my nails looked like the back of my fingers. Nothing pretty about that.
I have since thought I'd retry the acrylics. It's been about 9 years. And yes, I am once again having a reaction. Not sure if there is anything a Doc can do so I can wear these things. At at the same time that sounds pretty rediculous over having pretty nails.
I did find a place that does 'chemical free' acrylic nails. Those worked fine. It's a brush-on glue with your finger dipped into the powder. I didn't care for them as much as the acrylic so that is when I made the switch to acrylic again, only to find I'm still having problems.
Seriously ladies, if you are having the itching, take them off. You will loose your nails eventually. I was lucky that mine grew back.
Just my two cents worth!
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Stacia For This Useful Post: ladybee46 (03-31-2012), mikirobbie12 (08-08-2011)
There is no such thing as 'chemical free' artificial nails. ALL artificial nail products are made from the same family of acrylates and includes traditional acrylic, gel acrylic, wrap resins, nail glue and dipping powder. It's all acrylic based! Once we are allergic, we are allergic for life!
Wow! I just registered here because it is such an informative site. I have been searching the web to find out why I have been having so much trouble with itchy, swollen cuticles after getting an acrylic fill. From 1997 until 2005, I had acrylic nails. I developed a fungal infection in '05 and had to remove them. I tried for a year to develop my natural nails to no avail. They chip and peel no matter what products I faithfully use. In March of this year, I had the acrylics put back on by a new local salon that houses "numerous" nail techs. My previous tech was no longer in the area. They did a beautiful job on my nails, but after a few applications, I developed this irritating problem with my cuticles which lasts for 3-4 days and drives me absolutely nuts!!!!! It seems to have gotten worse so I went there yesterday (one day after application) to show them my nails and I asked the salon what it could be and they looked at me like I had two heads!!!! I am putting corizone cream around my cuticles about every two hours and it does seem to help a bit. After reading the comments on this site, I am wondering if switching salons would be something to consider. I am not sure what the powder mix is that they are using (they told me there is only one kind). Since I never had a problem before, is it possible that it is the MMA powder that they might be using? I really love the durablity and appearance of acrylics, but if I am jeopardizing my health in any way - they are coming off for good! Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Allergic reaction does not happen overnight, but only after repeated and prolonged skin contact to a potental allergen; in this case, acrylic liquid (monomer). There are TWO knds of monomer: MMA and EMA. MMA has been deemed as deleterious to the nails (and skin) by the FDA during the 70's. It has been baned for use in nail salons by just about all 50 state regulatory agencies. MMA can cause severe allergic reactions, even leading to the permanent loss of the nail plate or severe nail and skin damage. Many unscrupulous salons still use it because it is so cheap. If you are getting a full set of nals for $25.00 or less, chances are they are using MMA liquid (Methyl Methacrylate monomer.)
When MMA is put into a reactor under extreme heat and pressure, it will turn itself into a solid (powder) which is then classified as PMMA, and is no longer a threat to the skin and nails. Most acrylic powders use a mixture of PMMA (poly methyl methacrylic) and PEMA (poly ethyl methacrylate). This gives the powder both strength (PMMA) and flexibility (PEMA.) FYI: PMMA is also used to make plexiglass and other hard 'plastic' items.
The FDA approves of EMA liquid (Ethyl Methacrylate) as a monomer for use on nails and can be easily used with the PMMA/EMMA powder mixture. That is the key word here "NAILS", but many technicians will allow the wet product to touch the skin or use the product too wet and it is absorbed into the nail plate and sits on the nail bed and causes an allergic reacton.
Once we are allergic, we are allergic for LIFE. Since ALL artificial nail products are made from the same family of acrylates, if you are allergic to one, you will be allergic to all of them. This includes traditional liquid and powder systems, gel acrylic, wrap resins and nail adhesives. With each exposure the symptoms will get worse and the natural nail will begin to separate from the nail bed in an effort to get away from what is causng the symptoms. Once the nail plate separates from the nail bed, it is the perfect avenue for bacteria or fungus to get between the nail and nail bed, set up housekeeping and turn into a full blown infection.
My advice? Soak off the nails, find a GOOD Manicurist and opt for natural nail care. For more information on allergic reaction and your natural nails, please visit my website [url]http://www.hooked-on-nails.com[/url] (link approved by Moderator 1.)
Well, I'm pretty sure this is what is happening to me, just noticed for the first time that my nails appear to be lifing from my own fingers!!! I don't know if it's better to leave the acrylic's on and let them grow off, or cut them down and remove with acetate. I am leary of going where I had them put on and let them remove them now!!!!
Any input on what I should do, is it okay to let them grow off, or will it just get worse in the mean time???
Marti, I have read a lot of what you have posted on here...thank you, very informative, but if I do need to remove my acrylics versus letting them just grow off, what do I need to put on my natural nails to help the healing process? TIA
Last edited by skippitydoodah; 05-30-2007 at 02:15 PM.
You can file the surface of the overlay to render it more porous, then soak your nails in pure acetone until the product is all gooey and then scrape all the product off with an orangewood stick. Do not lift your nails from the acetone as doing so will allow the product to harden again. Soak one hand at a time so you can slough off the product and clean it all off. After removal, lightly buff the surface of your natural nail with a three way buffer; first the black side, then the white side, then the gray side. Treat the nails with a good quality nail and cuticle oil at least twice a day. Try Botanical Oil from Sally Beauty Supply.
I developed a nail reaction to acrylic's years ago, and had them taken off for a few months, then went back to silk. I am now a nail technician, I did not have a problem applying acrylic until a couple of months ago, I was applying acrylic nails to a customer when some of the liquid spilled on 2 fingers on my left hand (pinkie & ring finger). A few hours after this happened, my fingers started to itch and get red like poison ivy, I soaked them in vinegar twice a day for a week, they started to get better. Then I had to do a customer this time I wore gloves and a mask, I never touched the acrylic but a few hours later, the area on those 2 fingers grew itchy and red again. When the acrylic spilt the first it went underneath my rings on the 2 fingers, is it possible that the gold absorbed the acrylic and that is why when i do nails it still only attacks those two fingers. I love doing nails and my boss would be so disappointed if I had to stop. I do not wear gloves on my right hand and I usually hold the brush and/or drill in my right hand and I do not have a problem with the right hand, only the areas that the acrylic spilt on to a couple of months ago?
Nail dust contains uncured monomers and when it lands on your skin, or you lay your hands/arms on a dusty table or towel, you are keeping your skin in constant contact with the acrylic. Using a drill creates the smallest dust particle and the drill literally 'throws' the dust into the air and it lands everywhere.
Many years ago, I wore contacts and didn't have a problem with them at all. At an international training with CND, Doug Schoon asked me why I was wearing my glasses and I told him that every time I tried to wear contacts, even a brand new pair, my eyes would itch, burn and water. He asked me if I was wearing my contacts when I did nails and I said "Yes, of course." Bad news was that the contacts absorbed the esters in the acrylic liquid and that I had a layer of acrylic liquid on my eyes. Needless to say, I have never worn contacts again. Luckily enough, my allergy is not a 'skin' allergy, but if I do not have really good ventillation while I do nails, my eyes will burn, itch and water. Once we are allergic, we are allergic for life. I can still do and wear nails, but I have to have excellent ventillation where the air in the room is removed and fresh air pumped in.
WEAR GLOVES, long sleeves and a mask. Keep the dust off your skin and out of your breathing zone. Have your ring professionally cleaned or get a new one. Better yet, do not wear your jewelry when doing nails - dust can get under the rings which will keep it in constant contact with your skin. This is probably what is causing you to break out on those fingers when you do nails.