Nails Can Cause Allergic Reactions
NEW YORK (Reuters
Health) - Beauty has its price. Researchers have found that chemicals
used in acrylic nails can in some cases cause an allergic reaction.
This can produce
visible irritation of the nail folds, fingertips, eyelids, neck
and other facial areas, according to S. M. Erdmann and colleagues
at the University Hospital of RWTH Aachen in Germany.
In the June
issue of the journal Allergy, the researchers describe two cases
in which women who sought care for skin irritation were found
to be allergic to acrylics used in artificial nails.
determined that the women--one a manicurist, the other a client--were
allergic to a range of acrylics used in what is called the ``photobonding
technique'' for applying artificial nails. This method involves
applying acrylic to the nail and briefly exposing the hands to
ultraviolet light to bond the artificially molded attachment on
top of the natural nail.
note that although artificial-nail sets often carry the label
``harmless when properly used,'' the acrylic chemicals they contain
are well known for their ability to cause irritation when used
in dentistry, orthopedic surgery and certain printing procedures
and cosmetics processing.
team found that the chemicals to which their patients reacted
were present in nail hardeners, liquids, gels and strengtheners.
The researchers suggest that the chemicals can cause irritation
when people are exposed to the airborne powder that is produced
when filing bonded nails--as was evident in the case of the manicurist--or
by inhaling acrylic vapors.
according to the German team, suggest that manicurists and their
clients need to be made aware of the allergy risk associated with
some artificial nails.
our patients were aware of any sensitizing capacity of sculptured
acrylic nails,'' Erdmann and colleagues note. ``Since nail cosmetics
containing mono(meth)acrylates are strong sensitizers, both the
manicurists and their customers should be aware of the sensitizing
capacity of these compounds.''
``We do see
allergic reactions to all kinds of nail products--to acrylic and
sometimes even to nail polish,'' said Dr. Phoebe Rich, a clinical
associate professor of dermatology at Oregon Health Sciences University
in Portland. Rich told Reuters Health that customers should be
aware that most allergic reactions occur in the facial area. ``We
all touch our faces a million times a day, even if we don't think
we do,'' she said. So consumers should watch for any stinging
or burning as signs of a reaction.
noted that one substance used in artificial nails, methylmethacrylate,
is prohibited by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because
it is known to cause allergic reactions.
nail salons may still use the substance, which is regulated by
the state, not the FDA.
that while many people use acrylic nails and ultraviolet bonding
with no adverse results, those that do experience problems often
have a habit of getting artificial nails that are too long.
want to give the impression that they're inherently dangerous,
but we see the most problems with nails that are kept too long
because the artificial nail won't break and crack on impact. It's
like a suit of armor and the force of a bump is transmitted to
the underlying nail plate, which tears. Then bacteria and yeast
and fungus get in there and cause problems. So keeping the artificial
nails short is important,'' Rich advised.
Reference Source 89