Can acrylic nails trigger an allergic reaction?

Acrylic nails are applied using adhesives onto the real nails. Even though these nails are generally safe, some might end up with an allergic response to one of the components of the nails or to the adhesive utilized in their application.

If highly sensitive, the fingers turn reddened, swollen and itchy around the nail bed. Even though over-the-counter creams can lessen the discomfort, only the removal of the nails and avoiding future use can prevent the symptoms from recurring.

What are acrylic nails?

Acrylic nails and some adhesives are generally made of ethyl methacrylate monomer. Although this chemical has been considered safe, some might be allergic to it.

Another type of monomer specifically methyl methacrylate which was widely used in acrylics in the past has been banned after causing fingernail damage and deformities as well as allergies. On the other hand, methyl methacrylate monomer might still be present in some acrylic-based nail products particularly those that are sold in discount nail salons that do not utilize the more classy ethyl methacrylate monomer.


Contact dermatitis is characterized as inflamed skin due to exposure to an irritating substance.

What are the indications?

Contact dermatitis is characterized as inflamed skin due to exposure to an irritating substance. Once this skin condition arises from acrylic nails or its adhesive, it generally results to redness, swelling and pain around the nail bed.

Rashes can also occur along with blisters and peeling, and cracking skin develops after. The symptoms might arise within 10 days after using the nails for the first time. After the initial exposure, the symptoms will manifest within 24-48 hours after every exposure.


If an individual is highly sensitive to acrylic nails, the individual should have them removed in a reputable nail salon. Remember that incorrect removal can lead to further pain and lasting damage.

An over-the-counter corticosteroid cream and calamine lotion can be applied to lessen the itchiness and inflammation.

It is recommended to avoid future contact with acrylic nails. A doctor should be consulted if the fingers do not seem to improve within 2-3 weeks or if the condition becomes worse.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Please complete this captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.