Dermatologists warn of dangers of acrylic nails

Loose nails, red rash, itch and even breathing difficulties can occur in nail allergy epidemic

UK dermatologists have warned of an “allergy epidemic” arising over a chemical commonly used in acrylic nails and nail gels. 

Those who work in the beauty industry or who apply the nails at home are most at risk from the allergies, the British Association of Dermatologists says. 

Reactions to methacrylate — the chemical found in gel nails, acrylic nails and gel polish — include loosening nails or a severe red and itchy rash, which can occur anywhere on the body, including eyelids, face, neck and genitals.

In severe cases, the allergy can even result in respiratory difficulties.

Nail products containing methacrylate need to be ‘cured’ or hardened under a UV lamp.

Problems arise when the ‘uncured’ products come into contact with any part of the skin, causing sensitisation to the chemicals, the association says.

"It is really important that people know they can develop