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From toxic fillers to allergic reactions, you may want to re-think your nail habit.

Virginia Lowman
Oct, 16, 2015

If you reserve an hour on your calendar every two weeks for your bi-monthly fill or full set, this article is for you.

While it's no secret that acrylic nails are not the most sanitary beauty indulgence—think about that hard-to-clean area underneath your nail—they can also be detrimental to your health, especially if an MMA-based acrylic is used. Though MMA's (Methyl Methacrylate) have been banned by the FDA for use on nails because of toxicity, some lower-end nail salons still use the toxic substance to cut back on costs.

How to Avoid Falling Victim:

  • 1. Check to make sure that your salon displays a current state license and that your nail tech is board-certified.
  • 2. Pay attention to cost. If your sets or fills cost less than $40, you may want to inquire about the kind of acrylic being used. 
  • 3. Be mindful or terms like "dental acrylic" or "porcelain nails."
  • 4. Be mindful of the drill being used. If your acrylics are only being filled using a coarse drill bit, then you need to ask some questions.
  • 5. Be mindful of acrylics that have a sharp odor.
  • 6. MMA acrylic nails are also sensitive to trauma. EMA acrylics—the safer form of acrylic—gives more than MMA, so you natural nail is less prone to breaking.

7 Ways You May Be Damaging Your Nails

Symptoms or Allergic Reactions To Acrylic to be Mindful of:

  • 1. Inflamed or itchy cuticles
  • 2. Splitting or painful nail plate
  • 3. Bleeding, puss-filled or infected nail plate
  • 4. Infection below the nail bed (can be hard to spot)
  • 5. Pay attention to you natural nail growth. Acrylics—both MMA and EMA—weaken your nails making them prone to breakage or delayed growth.

8 Things Your Nails Could Be Telling You About Your Health

It is important to pay attention to the health of your nails each time you visit a nail salon. If you are a serial acrylic wearer, then give your natural nail a chance to breathe every two or three months.

Have you noticed any changes in your nails after wearing acrylics? Share you story in the comments below!