Did you know that acrylic nails could give you an allergic reaction? There are actually lots of different things that can cause an allergic reaction to acrylic nails. This blog looks at the different causes of an allergic reaction to acrylic nails.
The treatment for allergies to artificial nails can vary depending on the severity of the reaction. If the reaction is mild, your doctor may recommend you stop using artificial nails.
If the reaction is severe, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or antihistamines to reduce the reaction. And if you have a severe reaction, you may need to take oral or injected steroids for several months to treat the reaction. If you wear artificial nails, you should avoid eating foods that can cause allergic reactions such as peanuts.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
- 2 How common is an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
- 3 What causes an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
- 4 How to avoid an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
- 5 How do you know if you have an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
- 6 What if you have an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
What is an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
In most cases, acrylic nails are pretty safe and won’t cause any real problems. However, a small percentage of women can develop allergic reactions to certain acrylic resins, and you might even experience mild reactions after you’ve already had the acrylic applied.
If you’re concerned that you might experience a reaction to acrylic nails, you can ask your doctor for a referral to a dermatologist. While the majority of nail salon clients have a great experience, occasionally they’re not as happy as you’d hope.
You may have to call your nail salon in the event that you experience any of these common issues, which can occur during the manicure or the removal of your acrylics. Some women experience severe allergic reactions to acrylics, which can leave them with itchy skin, rashes and even temporary nail loss.
This reaction can occur anywhere on the body, but there are reports of it specifically occurring on the soles
How common is an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
An allergic reaction to acrylic nails is extremely rare but just as common as nail polish, so just like nail polish, you should be more comfortable going bare-knuckle to avoid this issue.
The good news is acrylic nails are much more durable and long lasting than polish and because acrylic is non-toxic, so unlike nail polish it is very unlikely that the acrylic will cause a reaction, but just like nail polish you should be very cautious to avoid touching or applying it on a new nail, if it doesn’t match your color, or touching it with your eye, or even letting it dry on you while you sleep.
Just like any other nail care, it is recommended to apply a protective barrier first to avoid any unwanted side effects. If your dermatologist has already suggested acrylics for you and you are really enjoying it, you might want to have some nail care instructions like cuticles done, to avoid irritation on the nail bed.
You could also opt for natural nail products, so you don’t have to worry about the toxic effects of conventional nail products. This article on Allergic reactions to products such as artificial nails and polish may be helpful, you can also read my complete article on natural nail care, which contains a collection of helpful information about natural nail care for everyone.
The information presented here is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as being the practice of a licensed professional. If you feel you have an unresolved health issue, please contact your healthcare provider. None of the individuals or organizations mentioned in this website, or other products referenced on this site, give any medical advice.
The contents of this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician
What causes an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
An allergic reaction to acrylic nails is not uncommon. Acrylic nails contain acrylic and other resins, as well as formaldehyde, a chemical that may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to it.
You may have an allergic reaction to the nail polish, acrylic and/or formaldehyde. Some products may contain formaldehyde and/or acetate in the ingredients, even though this may not be listed on the packaging. Acetone may cause a reaction in people who have an allergy to certain ingredients that have been added to the nail polish to make it harden or to strengthen it.
What are the causes of an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
There is a potential for a reaction to acrylic nails. Allergic reactions to acrylic nails are most likely due to exposure to acrylic resin or to formaldehyde. A sensitivity to either or both may cause a problem. Allergic reactions to acrylic nails most commonly occur because of an allergy to the acrylic resin.
People who have a known allergy to formaldehyde, or who are very sensitive to the smell of formaldehyde, should be extra careful not to come in contact with acrylic polish. The most common symptoms of a formaldehyde allergy include burning or stinging of the eyes, runny nose and sneezing.
Other reactions include rash, itching, hives, itching or burning of the mouth, throat, lips, tongue, face or eyes, as well as difficulty breathing. Acetone has been added to most nail polishes to help strengthen them and to make the polish harder. Acetone is also used to soak the nails before applying the polish.
Both acrylic polish and acetone may cause irritation in people who are sensitive to either. Another common ingredient in acrylic nails is methyl methacrylate. This is commonly found in both denture adhesive and denture adhesive removers. People who have dental issues such as gingivitis, mouth sores or gum
How to avoid an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
We recently read an article on how to avoid an allergic reaction to acrylic nails, as the acrylic nail industry continues to grow in popularity. The article was published by American Academy of dermatology Association and we highly recommend reading it here: https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/nail-care-secrets/basics/pedicures/reduce-artificial-nail-damage
The American Academy of dermatology Association base also offers a free online report that allows users to assess their likelihood of having an allergic reaction to cosmetics including nail polish, so we’ve taken the liberty of embedding it in this article too, in case you want to take a quick peek for free.
You’ll notice that although there are a number of nail polish colours available that are claimed to be safe for those with an allergic reaction to nail polish, some of them are a bit dubious! So what does The Skin Deep database actually tell you? In this article we’ll give you an overview of some of the concerns around nail polish use, share some facts and figures on the subject, and then take a look at some of the nail polish that you can safely wear for those with a history of having a reaction to acrylic nails.
In order to avoid an allergic reaction to nail polish, you need to know exactly which brands are toxic to sensitive skin and be aware of the dangers of using acetone-based products. This has become a serious concern as many nail polishes include acetone. Let’s explore the different acetone nail polish brands and how they affect your skin.
Acetone has become the number one culprit in nail polish allergy claims, so it’s important to become well acquainted with the dangers of acetone and how to avoid it. You’ll also learn about other ingredients commonly found in nail polish, such as toluene, that have the potential to cause allergic reactions and other kinds of sensitivities. You’ll discover what to avoid if you have a history of having a reaction to nail polish or you’re looking to cut down on your usage. We’ll help you get the right information for safe, effective and satisfying nail polish usage.
We have created the largest and most comprehensive skin and eye allergy information database in the world. Find information on allergy symptoms, treatments and how to avoid allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, dander, mites, insects, and more.
What is Acetone?
Acetone is the chemical name for a compound that has a high concentration of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. It’s a highly flammable compound that can produce toxic fumes when exposed to extreme heat. It’s also used as a solvent for paint, glue, and many kinds of lacquers. It’s used in nail polish because it provides good application properties, especially when combined with other solvents and preservatives.
It’s actually an extremely common ingredient in nail polish. Manufacturers use it because it’s very easy to use, and acetone dissolves the fast-drying resin coatings that form the base and top coat of the polish. Acetone is also used in nail polish removers to take off the polish.
As far as health hazards are concerned, acetone is very toxic to the skin and eyes. It’s also harmful to the respiratory system and can cause dizziness, nausea and headaches. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classifies acetone as a carcinogen. It’s even used as a propellant in a variety of consumer products. So if you’re curious about what kinds of risks are posed by acetone, read more here.
Acetone Health Risks
Acetone causes eye, nose and throat irritation if the exposed skin is broken, as well as headaches, dizziness, chest pain and vomiting if you have swallowed it. Some people experience an allergic reaction after exposure to acetone.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set the standard for acetone exposure at a maximum of 5 parts per million (ppm) for any period of time. A typical nail polish kit includes the following substances:
Methyl methacrylate (MMA)
Acetone is the most toxic ingredient in a nail polish kit, with one to five ppm of acetone potentially toxic for an adult. Acetone can be absorbed through the skin and through the eyes, and it may lead to severe irritation to the respiratory system if the exposure is prolonged or concentrated.
Some people find it particularly hard to deal with acetone because of their allergies. It’s also a big problem for those who suffer from respiratory ailments or have asthma, because it is a major component of air fresheners, candles, household cleaners and disinfectants.
How do you know if you have an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, there are ways to determine if you’re allergic to the acetone used to apply acrylics:
* **Throat:** The first sign of a problem may be a runny nose. If the nasal irritation worsens, you may develop a scratchy throat or hives.
* **Skin:** The first sign of a problem may be itchy bumps. If the itchy bumps occur in the nails (not on the finger), and the redness becomes more intense, you may experience difficulty breathing.
Your nails should not seem more than 10 percent shorter after the polish dries, but if you notice any kind of discoloration or thinning of the nail, you may have a serious allergic reaction. Contact your doctor or an allergist immediately for help.
What if you have an allergic reaction to acrylic nails?
You could suffer from dermatitis or contact dermatitis caused by an acrylic nail polish allergy. Many women are unaware that they have an allergy to acrylic nail polish because there are no official testing or reporting for the allergy. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology states that there are no studies done on the actual prevalence of this allergy.
Acrylic is a non-porous, hard, chemical polymer used to make a nail coating. Women, however, have an allergic reaction to a small amount of the coating which is applied to the nail before the acrylic coating hardens. The coating contains high levels of allergens such as dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and camphorquinone, the two most common contact allergens. These allergens cause the skin to be itchy and raw.
The only way to identify a nail polish allergy is through the doctor’s examination and testing.
Here is what you need to know:
What exactly is the acrylic nail coatings you are allergic to?
The coating contains two ingredients that are used in many different nail polish brands:
1. dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
Who is at risk for an acrylic nail polish allergy?
Women have a greater risk of developing an acrylic nail polish allergy because they are more susceptible to this allergy due to their increased sensitivity of their immune systems. The chemical allergen, camphorquinone, is present in all types of nail polishes including:
Liquid polish and acrylic polish
Base coat and nail polish
Top coat and nail polish
You may also be at risk for an acrylic nail polish allergy if you have a history of sensitive skin. Women, who may have dermatitis, contact dermatitis, or hives are more likely to develop this type of skin allergy.
Other factors may also contribute to developing this type of allergic reaction:
Exposure to nail polish fumes at the workplace
Exposure to nail polish fumes when wearing long-term nail polish
Exposure to nail polish fumes when a family member wears nail polish
Nail polish allergies can occur at any age. But, nail polish allergies are most common between the ages of 3-12 years old. The reason for this age range is because young children often rub their eyes. As they grow older, they develop the ability to control their exposure.
What are the symptoms of acrylic nail polish allergies?
Acrylic nail polish allergies can appear as an itchy, burning, or stinging sensation around the eyes. Also, the person may experience symptoms like the following:
An excessive tearing or swelling of the eyes
Burning, stinging, or dryness around the eyes
Coughing and sneezing
Blocking of the nasal passage
If you have recently had a reaction to a set of acrylic nails, you are not alone. Acrylic nails have been the most popular type of nail for decades. Unfortunately, many people have a bad reaction to them, and a small percentage of people have a severe reaction. If you have a bad reaction, do not panic. There are several things you can do to help. First, remove the nails as soon as you can. This will help to stop the reaction. Never wear acrylic nails again. If you want to wear fake nails again, ask your doctor if they are made from a different material, such as gel nails. Acrylic nails are a great alternative to natural nails, but it is important to be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.