Excessive Nail Care Can Leave You with Allergies and Infections

Frequent nail care, including fancy manicures may trigger allergies and infections, a recent study finds.

The biggest risk is the hiring of therapists and manicurists who don't have the qualifications because it is not necessarily required, Samantha Sweet of Sweet Squared, the exclusive UK distributors of the gel brand Shellac said. This lack of regulation may result to poor practices such as filling down the nail plate and weakening the nails in general, or scraping off old polish using a sharp tool. Sweet advises that "people should speak up if they feel the manicurist is treating their nails harshly."

"Some are badly taught and saw away unnecessarily. If you are having acrylic enhancements applied, the manicurist will need to exfoliate the nail plate for it to stick but this only takes three light 'passes' with a mildly abrasive file, one down the middle and one on either side. If your manicurist is using an abrasive file too strongly then ask them to stop." However, Dr. Tamara Griffiths, consultant dermatologist for the British Skin Foundation claims that oftentimes it is the eye area that suffers allergic reactions to varnish, varnish remover or adhesives.

"Allergy to nail varnish can show itself as an itchy flaky eruption around the eyes - not the nails - and therefore may go undetected. This is because we constantly touch our eyes, transferring the allergens, and the skin is very thin there so they penetrate easily." Dr. Griffiths added: "You can develop an allergy after years of problem-free use, but once the allergy develops, the reaction will be repeated with any exposure to the offending agent. Frequent exposure to chemicals in manicure products such as varnish and gels may increase one's risk. Once an allergy develops, it is irreversible."

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