Are Your Acrylic Nails Causing Skin Problems? Here’s What You Need to Know

acrylic nails
05/07/2024

Acrylic nails are a popular beauty trend that many people adore for their durability and stunning appearance. However, while they can enhance your beauty and boost your confidence, they might also be the hidden culprit behind certain skin issues, particularly contact dermatitis. Let’s delve into what you need to know to enjoy beautiful nails without compromising your skin’s health.

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation that occurs when your skin reacts to a substance it has come into contact with. This condition can manifest as red, itchy, and swollen skin, often accompanied by blisters. There are two main types of contact dermatitis:

  1. Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This occurs when your immune system reacts to a specific substance, leading to an allergic reaction.
  2. Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This happens when a substance directly damages the outer layer of your skin.

When it comes to acrylic nails, both types of contact dermatitis can be triggered by the chemicals used in the nail application process.

Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis from Acrylic Nails

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms around your nails or fingers, you might be dealing with contact dermatitis caused by acrylic nails:

  • Redness and swelling around the nail bed
  • Intense itching or burning sensation
  • Blisters or vesicles that may ooze and crust over
  • Dry, cracked, or scaly skin around the nails

These symptoms can significantly impact your daily life, making even simple tasks uncomfortable and painful.

Choosing the Right Products

To minimise the risk of contact dermatitis, it’s essential to choose the right products. Opt for hypoallergenic nail products and avoid those containing methyl methacrylate (MMA), which is more likely to cause allergic reactions. Instead, look for products with ethyl methacrylate (EMA), which is considered safer for most people.

Proper Nail Care

Proper nail care before and after applying acrylic nails can help prevent skin issues:

  1. Pre-Application Care:
  • Clean your nails thoroughly to remove any dirt or oils.
  • Apply a base coat to create a protective barrier.
  1. Post-Application Care:
  • Moisturise your hands and nails regularly to keep the skin hydrated.
  • Avoid picking at or biting your nails to prevent infections.

Debunking Myths and Social Media Trends

There are many myths and trends surrounding acrylic nails. Let’s clear up a few:

  • Myth: “Natural nails don’t need a break.”
  • Reality: Giving your nails a break between applications can help prevent damage and allow them to recover.
  • Myth: “Allergic reactions to acrylic nails are rare.”
  • Reality: Allergic reactions are more common than you might think, and it’s important to be aware of the risks.
  • TikTok Trend: Using household products to remove acrylic nails.
  • Reality: This can damage your nails and skin. Always use products designed for nail removal or seek professional help.

Medical Treatments for Contact Dermatitis

If you suspect that you have contact dermatitis, it’s important to address it promptly:

  • Over-the-Counter Solutions: Emollients can soothe and protect the skin, while corticosteroid creams can reduce inflammation. Antihistamines may help with itching.
  • When to See a Doctor: If symptoms persist or worsen, consult a healthcare professional for advice and potential prescription treatments.

Role of a Wellness Pharmacist

At The Health Dispensary, our Wellness Pharmacists in Neath can provide personalised advice and treatment options to help you manage and prevent contact dermatitis. We offer expert guidance on selecting hypoallergenic products and tips for maintaining healthy nails and skin. You can book a FREE NHS Appointment here

Integrative Health Approach

Taking a holistic approach to your health can also support your skin:

  • Nutrition and Skin Health: Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants can promote skin healing and reduce inflammation. Foods like salmon, avocados, and nuts are great for skin health.
  • Stress Relief: Stress can exacerbate skin conditions. Practising mindfulness, yoga, or other stress-relief techniques can help keep your skin healthy.
  • Holistic Care: Considering your overall health and well-being is crucial in managing skin issues. Integrative health practices can provide comprehensive support for both your skin and overall wellness.

Conclusion: Enjoying Beautiful Nails Safely

Acrylic nails can be a wonderful way to express your style and enhance your appearance. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to protect your skin. By choosing the right products, practising proper nail care, and seeking advice from professionals like the Wellness Pharmacists at The Health Dispensary in Neath, you can enjoy beautiful nails without compromising your skin’s health.

For personalised advice and expert guidance, visit The Health Dispensary in Neath, South Wales. We’re here to help you achieve healthy, happy, and hopeful living with beautiful nails and healthy skin.

Disclaimer: Our articles aim to inform and empower. They do not seek to replace the advice of your usual healthcare professional. If registered with The Health Dispensary we will be glad to advise in person on any healthcare issues and signpost to other medical professionals if needed.

Categories: Women's Health