How safe is nail gel polish?

In recent years there has been an exponential rise in women and some men using gel nail polishes. But would this growth have been so impressive if women had realised from the get go that nail gels may be causing serious impacts on their health?

Gel nail polishes are massively popular because they offer exciting individualistic designs, they are durable, long-lasting and come in a wide range of colors and effects.

Allergic to nail gel polish?

However, experts are now warning people that these products may be causing severe allergic reactions across the population.

Life changing allergies

According to a report in the British newspaper the Daily Mail, there has been a rise in the number of people suffering from life-changing allergies caused by using gel nail polishes. It’s now thought, these allergies can lead to severe skin reactions, including painful blisters, peeling skin, and even the loss of fingernails. But if that’s not bad enough, even more serious concerns have now surfaced.

Chemicals threat

Gel nail polishes use a combination of chemicals that are specifically designed to bond the polish to the nail. Most people that use gels on their nails are not aware the chemicals involved can include methacrylate monomers. The take-home point here is these can be highly allergenic. If these chemicals get onto the skin, they potentially can cause allergic reactions which can be serious and severe.

When a manicure went wrong

For instance, a woman, whose story which was featured in an article in the Daily Mail, developed a strong allergic reaction to gel nail polish. This happened after enjoying a manicure at a local salon. Sometime afterwards, she began to notice something had gone wrong. When her fingers became sore and itchy, she thought it was just due to a mild reaction to the polish used in the process. However, in the following few days, she witnessed her fingers blistering up and skin peeling away, and her nails started to fall off!

Investigation of nail gel polish

She knew this needed further investigation, so an urgent visit to a dermatologist was on the agenda. What transpired was very concerning. In the examination she was shocked to uncover that she had developed an allergy to the chemicals actually in the gel nail polish. So, after examination, she was advised to stop using the product immediately and to avoid any other products that contain methacrylate monomers.

When to seek medical help

Experts in the field are now issuing warnings. They are advising that anyone who develops a severe allergic reaction to gel nail polish, should seek medical attention immediately. This is because they now realize the more time the skin is exposed to the allergen, the more it’s likely to affect the nails and fingers. And currently, there is more concern breaking about the further severe and adverse issues associated with nail gel polishes.

Serious health links

There’s a more sinister worry on the horizon. This time, it’s more focused around the threat to life posed by the chemicals. For instance, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now issued urgent warnings about the potential health risks connected with these products. This is partly due to some of the chemicals used in gel nail polishes being linked to cancer, birth defects, and other health problems!

Durable, lovely finger and toenails

But despite these concerns, many women continue to use gel nail polishes. This is probably connected with some degree of existing ignorance. However, many people still support using them. Why? mostly for their convenience, they are easy to apply, and they can last for weeks without chipping or peeling. But now, experts recommend that the public take precautions when using these products.

Reduce nail polish risk

One way to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction is to use a UV lamp to cure and harden the polish, rather than a LED lamp. However, UV lamps do emit more UVA radiation and therefore they can cause skin damage and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. LED lamps on the other hand, emit less radiation, so in this respect, are considered to be safer.

Is using UV harmful

According to the Daily Mail, one of the main problems occurs during gel manicures when the lamps used to harden off each layer of gel are under-used. It seems when this happens, the chemicals in gels, in this moist state, have an increased opportunity to enter the skin. If the gel is not sufficiently ‘cured’ a reaction to the chemicals can occur on the skin around the nails.

The newspaper points out “Each gel polish brand has an exact curing time which should be adhered to, often either 30 seconds, 60 seconds or 90 seconds. It is also important to read the labels on gel nail polishes and to avoid any products that contain methacrylate monomers. These chemicals are often listed as “ethyl methacrylate” or “methyl methacrylate.”

Gel nail polish reactions

On a personal level, if you use nail gels and develop a severe allergic reaction to gel nail polish, see a medical professional ASAP. Don’t delay because the allergen, in extreme cases, can cause severe reactions which can be life-threatening.

Looking to reduce nail gel polish exposure

The allure of gel nail polishes can be strong and magnetic. No one can pretend they are not a convenient and durable option for women wanting to maintain their nails with a fabulous look. However, on the other side of the coin, it appears they can also be a potential health hazard, especially for those who develop allergies or other skin reactions. Perhaps for the many women committed to using nail gels, they should seek to reduce overall exposure. This could be achieved through taking extra precautions around nail drying times and avoiding accidental skin contact. Thereby reducing the effects of potentially hazardous to health chemicals on the body.

Research References

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/

https://www.fda.gov/