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Are artificial and gel nails bad for you?

Are artificial and gel nails bad for you?

shereeBy Sheree Epstein


Now days there are many various types of artificial nails from different forms of gel to acrylic etc and all of these different types are widely used. They are known to last longer on the nails than normal nail polish does, as well as to enhance the length of one’s finger nails due to bitten, extremely short, broken or damaged nails.  It is also used to help prevent people from biting their nails and to prevent nail breakages as well.

If fitted properly, artificial nails are usually not problematic. However, long term use and poorly fitted nails can seriously damage the nail bed and inhibit natural nail growth. The most common problem associated with artificial nails is a bacterial infection that may develop between the false nail and the natural nail.

When artificial nails are applied to the natural nail surface, minor types of trauma can happen from something as small as scraping a nail against a surface or as your natural nails grow and this can cause separation of the artificial nail from the actual nail bed.

This gap provides a moist, warm environment in which a nail infection (bacteria and fungus) can develop. A nail infection might also occur if acrylic nails are too long or rigid, or the nails are applied with unsanitary tools. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the components of acrylic nails or their adhesives.

Acrylic and gel nails can cause the natural nail to be extremely weak and can result in paper-thin nail beds that can also turn white in colour. Treating the nails with the necessary nourishing rich oils by massaging them into the nails will help improve and increase the blood flow in and around the nail bed, helping to return them back to their natural colour. Applying a strengthening formula to the nails will help to increase the growth and thickness.

Taking certain supplements such a calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and omega oils will assist in the well-being of your nails and will prevent dry, brittle nails.

Important do’s and dont’s for artificial and gel nails:

  • Choose a nail technician or beauty therapist based on recommendations rather than basing it only on location or price. Many people walk into a salon as they see a good price and this could result in you not receiving the same service as you would when using someone more qualified with the right skills. If your nail technician or beauty therapist is not experienced, she can buff your nail plate too thin when applying gels or acrylics which could result in serious damage to your nails.
  • Go to a professional to get your nails done rather than to apply “At-home products” as they require some skill and attempting to remove anything that is adhered to the nail bed can go wrong if you do not have the necessary removal products.
  • Don’t peel off your artificial or gel nails. They are designed to adhere to the nail, so if you peel them off, it removes the top layer of your nail with it!
  • Ask your technician how to care for your nails between visits. It is important to get a knowledgeable nail therapist who can teach you how to properly maintain your nails in between treatments such as applying nourishing oils etc.
  • If you develop rashes or itchiness around your fingers or on your eyes, face, or anywhere else, or if you suspect a nail infection you should check with your doctor in case you may be allergic to one of the ingredients used within the artificial nails.
  • Make sure your therapist sterilizes all the tools that will be used during your treatment.
  • Most importantly remove your acrylic and gel nails and let your natural nails breathe every one to two months or so.

Artificial and gel nails are not bad for you if applied and fitted properly and professionally and if worn for a short period at a time.

It is great to get your nails done for a function or for a vacation etc and not to have them on the whole year round. Those that have done this, can agree that their nails are constantly in poor condition with visible weakness and trauma to the nail bed.

It is however important to give the nails a good break and leaving them to look natural every month or so is in fact the best solution.