Experts warn about frequent gel manicure problems and advise us to exercise moderation. Here is what you should know about potential problems with gel nail polish and how to prevent them.
Potential Gel Nail Problems
The most common gel nail problems are nail thinning, brittleness, peeling and cracking, caused by the various chemicals used during the gel nail application process.
Skin irritation may also occur, as a reaction to the acetone used to remove the polish or to the chemicals contained in some gel nail polishes.
If you get frequent gel manicures, consider that the UV light used to “cure” (or seal) the gel manicure is a risk factor for skin cancer. Moreover, exposure to UV lamps could result in cosmetic changes on the skin around the nails.
When covered by the gel sealant, your nails do not get any moisture or air, which leaves them vulnerable to nail fungus or bacteria.
The list of potential gel nail problems also includes the risk of a nail infection or tumor going unnoticed under the gel nail polish, which could delay diagnosis and treatment.
How to Prevent Gel Nail Problems
Gel nail polish and acetone soaks tend to make your nails thin and brittle, so get gel manicures at longer intervals, giving your nails time to regrow and regenerate.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your hands or wear anti UV gloves to prevent potential damage caused by exposure to UV light during the sealing process.
When getting a gel nail manicure, ask your manicurist not to push the cuticle because this will increase the risk of inflammation and infection.
Avoid gel manicures if you have recurring nail problems.
To prevent common gel nail problems, like brittleness and chipping, rehydrate your nails regularly, using petroleum jelly or a hand and nail moisturizer.
To protect your skin when removing nail polish, soak only the nails in acetone. A good way to prevent skin irritation is getting finger wraps, which expose the nails while protecting the surrounding skin.
Gel nail polish problems may also occur when you get a tan or use fake tan lotions. Therefore, it's best to avoid using tan boosters or to wipe the nails off immediately after use.
A good way to prevent potential gel nail problems is to avoid getting a gel manicure during pregnancy.
Watch out for any unusual changes of the nails and, should any occur, see a dermatologist right away.