Its a given that all women want beautiful nails. Often, that means not living with what nature gave you, and indisputably artificial nails are very popular. You might be a woman, or know a woman, who builds a trip to the nail salon into her weekly budget. But are acrylic nails safe? Read on.
Safe, Sort Of
Acrylic nails in and of themselves arent harmful. But depending on how theyre installed, and how long you leave them on, they could be harmful to your natural nail bed.
One of the most common problems is actually damage to the acrylic nail causing damage to the underlying nail. The acrylic nail cracks, or loosens from the natural nail, and then a gap occurs. This makes for a wet, warm environment that is ideal for bacteria to grow and cause infections.
Another problem is that nail files can never be effectively sterilized. So when you go to the salon, youre not just bringing in whatever is on your nails – youre picking up what was on the customer before, and the customer before that, and the… well, you get the idea. Ideally, you should bring your own nail file to the salon and have the nail technician use it.
You probably think of allergies as affecting your sinuses or your skin, but the reality is that you can be allergic to any number of the compounds that are used on your nails in the course of having acrylic nails installed. Adhesives are a common culprit, and signs of an allergy can include redness and swelling.
Minimize Your Risk
Of course you want beautiful nails, but if you are going to have acrylic nails installed at a salon, make sure that the salon is state licensed, and only work with nail technicians who are board licensed. Make sure that your technician sterilizes every single tool that he or she uses, and washes hands before serving you. And as we have stated before, bring your own nail file.
Let Your Nails Breathe
Keep in mind that your nails are not meant to be covered for any great length of time. At least every three months, you should forego your acrylic nails and let your real nails get a bit of oxygen.
To prevent problems with acrylic nails, start off slow. Have just one nail installed, and wait to see if you experience any itching, redness, pain, or other symptoms. If any of these symptoms develop, do not use acrylic nails. If any separation of the artificial nail from the nail bed occurs, remove the artificial nails immediately. You can often do this with at-home treatments, or you can go to a salon to have the nails removed.
Keep in mind that if you continue to wear artificial nails in the face of the above-mentioned problems, you are risking permanent damage to your nail bed. Looking good is important, but not at the cost of your health. Enjoy your manicure, but be careful.