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Is heating up of the UV gel a problem?

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This is a problem that occurs far too often and should be avoided.

Managing Exothermic Reactions in Artificial Nail Coatings

When any chemical reaction releases heat, it is called an “exothermic reaction” or “exotherm”.  An exotherm can be very significant and even damaging. I hear about this problem all the time.

It was always my chief concern when developing any artificial nail coating because they can happen with any artificial nail products- any of them and I know of no exceptions. It’s the nature of the chemistry involved, and it is unavoidable. Even so, exotherms can be minimized and controlled.  

Understanding and Addressing Exothermic Reactions in Nail Coatings

One way to control exotherms is to ensure the product is carefully and responsibly formulated by someone skilled in the art of their development. I went out of my way to minimize exotherms whenever I developed any nail coating. This was one of my top goals for product development.

Exotherm is a real and significant problem. I even spent months building a special scientific instrument that would very precisely measure the exotherms created on the nail plate during curing.

Exotherms can be a red flag when a product overheats to the point of causing burns to the nail bed.  They can lead to onycholysis, which is a medical term for the separation of the nail plate from the nail bed

Excessive heat can be a sign that something is seriously wrong and should be immediately corrected before the client develops a permanent injury, which can lead to infections and/or loss of the nail plate.  Exotherms are made to be much more noticeable and painful when a nail tech friction burns the nail bed from overly aggressive filing, which magnifies the problem by making the nail bed more sensitive to heat.  What other factors can cause exotherms?

Causes of Exothermic Reactions in Nail Coatings

As mentioned before, using the incorrect nail lamp to cure a UV gel is a leading cause.  LED nail lamps emit more UV than traditional nail lamps, so when used with a nail coating not designed for use with LED nail lamps, this can lead to significant overheating and nail bed burns that can lead to onycholysis.  The thicker the applied coating, the more heat it releases during cure.  

Another common reason has nothing to do with the formula, but everything to do with over filing. When the nail plate is filed too aggressively or with a heavy hand, can friction burn the nail bed and make it more sensitive. When the nail bed is injured by over filing, it becomes much more sensitive to heat, making it more noticeable.

The points raised by this question are likely reasons for excessive heating, so these are the first places you should look when trying to prevent this potentially harmful condition.

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