The hidden risks of fake nails: a closer look

French consumer magazine "60 Millions de Consommateurs" reveals the hidden risks behind the (seemingly harmless) use of fake nails, including burns, allergies and even an increased risk of cancer

Fake nails have been a popular trend for years, especially among the younger crowd. Often perceived as a harmless form of aesthetic or artistic expression, the reality is slightly more complex.

Experts from the French consumer magazine 60 Millions de Consommateur have highlighted a concerning array of risks associated with fake nails that many are unaware of or underestimate.

Three types of fake nails: pros and cons

There are essentially three types of fake nails, each with its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Adhesive caps
  • Gel fake nails
  • Resin fake nails

The seemingly harmless adhesive caps, easily found in supermarkets, cosmetics stores, or online, hide some dark sides, especially regarding the use of ethyl cyanoacrylate-based glue. This substance, while very effective in applying the nails, poses certain risks.

Dr. Éric Thomas, an allergist in Paris, warns that such glues are extremely irritating and can trigger severe skin reactions, extending well beyond the fingertips. Intense itching and irritation can spread to sensitive areas of the face, causing long-term discomfort and inconvenience.

Furthermore, prolonged use of adhesive caps can encourage the growth of harmful microbes and make natural nails look unsightly in appearance and color. Dermatologist Sophie Goettmann warns that the moisture accumulating under the fake nails can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, leading to serious skin infections.

The risks of gel nails

And what about gel, loved for its longevity and versatility? Here too, there are risks. Repeated exposure to UV lamps during gel application increases the risk of skin damage, including the dreaded skin cancer.

Experts recommend protecting the skin during gel application with a generous amount of sunscreen, thus reducing the risk of UV damage. Moreover, removing the gel requires special attention, as excessive use of acetone can weaken natural nails.

The downside of resin nails

Resin nails, valued for their durability and strength, also have drawbacks. The pungent odor of the acrylic mix is the first warning sign indicating the need for adequate ventilation during application. Moreover, prolonged use of resin nails can cause dryness and brittleness of natural nails.

The removal of these nails requires a gentle approach, using cotton soaked in acetone to avoid permanent damage to natural nails.

In conclusion, the obsession with fake nails that has captivated millions worldwide is not without risks. It’s essential to adopt a cautious and informed approach to this practice, avoiding excessive use.

Finally, French experts believe that fake nails should be avoided before the age of 16, during pregnancy, and in particularly delicate health situations.

Source: 60 Millions de Consommateurs

The article draws upon studies published and recommendations from international institutions and/or experts. We do not make claims in the medical-scientific field and report the facts as they are. Sources are indicated at the end of each article.
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