Experts warn of ‘life-long’ effects of nail gel polish

Experts warn of ‘life-long’ effects of nail gel polish


The allergy could stop people from getting certain surgeries

Dermatologists are warning that popular nail gel polishes are causing an increase in the number of people developing “life-changing” allergies that could prevent them from having certain operations.

Experts say that chemicals in nail gel polishes, which are methacrylates, can seep into the skin and cause an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of such a reaction include nails becoming loosened from the nail bed and the skin around the nails developing a severe rash.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday morning (14 April), Dr Deirdre Buckley, a consultant dermatologist from Bath, said: “[Symptoms] can range from the nails loosening to falling off, it can include a severe rash on the face, the neck, the upper chest.

“People can have trouble breathing or asthma can be worsened. Even worse, they can become sensitive to acrylates in other things, which can have implications in dentistry or if they’re diabetic or for orthopaedic surgery, and it’s a life-long sensitisation,” she added.

Methacrylate is often used as a bone cement for knee and hip implants, as well as in dental prosthesis and dentures.

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has today reiterated its warning regarding allergic reactions linked to artificial nails after a number of high-profile reports. It first issued a warning about these products in 2018, following reports of a steep rise in cases of allergic skin reactions linked to (meth)acrylate chemicals in these products.

The BAD now has concerns the closure of nail salons during the pandemic could be leading more people to switch to at-home kits. Dr Buckley, who is with the BAD, said: “It’s likely that lockdowns during the pandemic contributed to an increase in people using at-home artificial nail kits.” The BAD said these at-home kits can be riskier because of the lack of experience the public has with these products.


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