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Are press on nails a safe alternative if you have an allergic reaction to gel?

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Question:

Would press on nails (painted with UV gel polish) be a safe alternative for someone who has had allergic reactions to gel nails? Presuming they’re not allergic to nail glue.

For example, if someone has a reaction to HEMA and the press on nails were painted with gel that did contain HEMA, would it be safe once they’re fully cured?

Answer:

It’s a problem that is becoming more relevant every day!

It’s a dilemma, what can we do for clients suffering from allergies that still want gorgeous nails?

If the product on the press on nails is cured properly this cannot cause a reaction but you also write ‘presuming they’re not allergic to nail glue’ This is a huge presumption especially as nail glues contain highly reactive allergens and possibly HEMA too (HEMA is very effective when it comes to its adhesion properties).

It may be safer to reconsider the options you have – especially as HEMA is considered to be a ‘gateway allergen’ that means – the body’s immune system will sometimes recognize another similar acrylate allergen as HEMA and will react to that too, they only have to be similar.

Good maintenance of the natural nail with good quality oil and possibly a nail strengthener that penetrates the nail plate would mean that nail varnish could be a really good option – there are some amazing ones out there – but as we all know, they can chip easily which is exactly why gel polish and hybrid gels were invented – maybe not the best option but definitely safe and it Selden allergenic.

Another option would be a product that is already cured before it is applied to the nail plate – Kind of like super classy nail stickers, a sort of flexible plastic film, there are no recorded allergic reactions to them, and you can create some truly amazing nails, the collections have some stunning designs and application is easy enough once you get the hang of it, although building extensions are out of the question.

A good nail varnish topcoat would suffice to make them even more impressive and make these last anything between 7 and 14 days.

If you want to use ‘press on nails’ a possibility is to use a product like we use to attach runway nails – they are little double-sided adhesive tabs but bear in mind these are only suitable for temporary wear, they will not withstand a week of wearing. Take care to wash the clients’ hands with soap & water before application and cleanse the nail plate well, this will prevent pathogens hanging around at the edge of the seal.

For everyone reading this that have never reacted to artificial nail products including all nail glues, staying away from the skin, wearing gloves, taking care of good air ventilation, and using a dust extractor is the only way to prevent allergic reactions because once you have an allergy you have it for life.

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