Are Artificial Nails Bad for You?

lips nails

As a former chronic nail biter, I would do everything I could to make my nails look as good as possible given the circumstances. Oftentimes, this included heading to the salon and getting a full set of artificial nails put on. Even though they were fake, I loved the way my french tips looked because I just assumed I’d never have beautiful nails on my own.


While artificial nails can look pretty when done tastefully, there are some concerns that they may damage your real nails. Keep reading to find out exactly what you can expect from the use of acrylic nails.

Can Acrylic Nails Damage Real Nails?

Many people worry that acrylic nails can damage the natural nails underneath, but when applied properly this usually doesn’t happen. However, long-term use of artificial nails can severely weaken your natural nail and, when applied improperly, cause damage to your nail bed and even hinder your natural nails from growing.

If you are intent on wearing acrylic nails, it’s important to visit a reputable salon where the manicurists sanitize their instruments and know the right techniques to avoid damaging your real nails.

Can You Get a Nail Fungus from Using Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails cannot be infected by nail fungus, but improperly applied nails can serve to infect the natural nails underneath. A nail fungus can wreak havoc on your nail bed, the plate of your nail, and the skin around your nail.

The best way to avoid nail fungus is to ensure the nail technician properly applies the acrylic nails and that you take care of your nails and hands properly. In other words, don’t use your artificial nails as a “tool” to open anything, as this can cause the acrylic to lift, forming an open space perfect for a fungus to grow.

What Other Problems Should I Be Aware Of?

Certain allergens used in acrylic nails may be a problem, especially to people who are sensitive to chemicals. Thankfully, the majority of the worst offenders (such as methyl methacrylate) have been banned from use in acrylic nails because of the damage it can cause to the nail bed, but salons that don’t follow proper safety measures may still use this toxic substance.

As such, it’s important to go to a salon that you know is reputable and that will only use high quality acrylic nails.

Overall, acrylic nails are not much of a threat when applied properly and used sparingly. However, it’s your job as the consumer to thoroughly research reputable salons and know what you’re getting. When used short-term, acrylic nails can be beautiful, but make sure you take every precaution to care for your artificial tips just as you would your natural nails.

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