Gel Manicures have become all the rage in recent years due to their long-lasting nature and beautiful appearance. However, they can have negative effects on your nail health. Repeated treatments can cause nail brittleness, peeling and cracking as well as increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging in hands (AAD). Stay on top of your nail health and enjoy beautiful nails with these tips from your dermatologist.
- Ensure tools have been sterilized. Pay attention to whether or not your manicurist is cleaning and sanitizing tools after each client or opening a fresh set of tools at the start of your appointment. If you don’t see evidence of cleaning, ask your manicurist if they can grab a fresh set to be safe.
- Apply waterproof sunscreen to your hands before your appointment. Although the amount of UV radiation found in gel manicure lights isn’t high, you can be proactive in preventing additional exposure to premature aging or increased risk of sun cancer by applying sunscreen to your hands prior to your appointment. Make sure it’s waterproof! Many manicurists will have you rinse your hands prior to polishing your nails and you don’t want to rinse off your sunscreen.
- Don’t pick gel nail polish off. After a few weeks, your manicure will begin to peel or flake off. Resist the urge to pick at the polish. Instead, make an appointment with your manicurist to have the polish removed.
- When removing polish, only soak your fingertips in acetone. Acetone is used to remove gel polish and can dry or irritate skin. Minimize contact by only dipping nails in the acetone bowl or ask for cotton balls to be used to remove the polish.
- Consider getting regular polish over gel or taking a nail polish holiday. If you are finding your nails seem brittle or fragile after repeated gel manicures, try to take a nail “holiday” and leave nails natural for two weeks. While resting your nails, apply a moisturizing product such as petroleum jelly to nails to help them rehydrate.
If you notice pain or extreme brittleness in nails, you may need to schedule an appointment with your board-certified dermatologist to assess whether or not a larger issue is at hand. Savannah River Dermatology is located at 575 Furys Ferry Rd in Augusta, Ga. Our office can be reached at 706-691-7079.