Sometimes, longevity in a particular metier does not translate into an "expertise." I have noted, in the nail salon business, when a nail technician says I've been doing nails for twenty-five years and I've "seen nothing" means, well, nothing. Many of the insidious effects of improperly applied gel polish systems are not being linked to developing allergies, however, a strong link has been established. Below I have highlighted some interesting facts uncovered by the British Association of Dermatologists. While their determinations are based on primarily the nail technician, it should be noted the consumer is, as well, at risk.
"Dermatologists issue warning about UK artificial nail allergy epidemicAUGUST 9, 2018"
The British Association of Dermatologists has today issued a warning that (meth)acrylate chemicals, the key ingredients in acrylic nails, gel nails and gel polish nails, are causing a contact allergy epidemic in the UK and Ireland.
Their concerns are based on a study which has found that 2.4 per cent of people tested had an allergy to at least one type of (meth)acrylate chemical. This trend is a Europe-wide phenomenon, overwhelmingly affecting women.
It is when the uncured products come into contact with any part of the skin that sensitization to the chemicals can occur. This is very likely when people apply a product themselves, or if insufficient training has been given to the nail technician.
Allergic reactions may involve the nails loosening, or a severe red, itchy rash, not just on the fingertips, but potentially anywhere on the body that has come into contact with the nails, including the eyelids, face, neck and genital region. Very rarely, symptoms such as breathing problems can occur.
As (meth)acrylates are not routinely included in allergy assessments, known as patch tests, the rate of allergy has largely remained under the radar. There are now calls for this to change.
“It is really important that people know they can develop allergies from artificial nails. The truth is that there will be many women out there with these allergies who remain undiagnosed, because they may not link their symptoms to their nails, especially if the symptoms occur elsewhere on the body. It is important that they get a diagnosis so that they can avoid the allergen, but also because developing an allergy to these chemicals can have lifelong consequences for dental treatments and surgeries where devices containing these allergens are in common use.
The audit also found that this allergy is predominantly found in women, who made up 93 per cent of those affected.