‘I’ve got my nails done my entire life – but now I can barely use my hands’

The terrible experience of losing the use of her hands following what was initially believed to be an adverse reaction to manicure treatments is described by a mother of two.

Lisa Dewey of Pattishall, Northamptonshire, had routine gel manicures without any problems for a very long time.The 36-year-old noticed that her fingers were becoming uncomfortable after a normal visit in February, and that her nails were beginning to fall out.

The problem worsened when one finger turned an eerie shade of purple. She was afraid she would lose it.

Getting a manicure is supposed to make you feel good

Mrs. Dewey was diagnosed with a bacterial infection during a visit to the doctor. Her doctor suggested treating her with an antibiotic and steroid cream.

She recently had another manicure, and tragically, her fingers have gotten a lot worse. The range of motion in her hand was severely constrained, and she was in tremendous pain.

After considering her symptoms, Lisa believed that her issues were due to her gel manicures.

Mrs. Dewey, an NHS cleaning specialist, has learned that she may be allergic to a substance in gel nail polish. This is in line with recent recommendations for enhanced caution from dermatologists. Mrs. Dewey, a devoted mother of two children, aged three and twelve, experienced an unexpected reaction in February, shortly after undergoing her routine gel nail treatment.

She hadn’t anticipated that within a few days, her nails would begin to break away from the nail bed. Even one of them went purple. However, the rest of her nails began to itch and ache a lot. She had never thought about the notion that her regular manicure routine could be to blame.

Mrs. Dewey reflected on her longtime practice of getting artificial or gel nails. “All my life, I’ve had my nails done. I initially believed it was a bacterial infection when it started happening following the purchase of a package of gels in February. stated Mrs. Dewey.

Mrs. Dewey was certain that an allergic response was the cause.

She was alarmed by the purple discoloration around the nail on her finger. causing her to fear that she might go without air and lose a finger. But it soon became clear that something very different was the true cause. Her physicians assumed she was unwell, so they gave her antibiotics.

After removing the gels and taking a break from nail care products, Mrs. Dewey believed the ordeal was done. Unfortunately, when she placed artificial nails once more in April, the reaction got worse. Her fingernails started to grow again, and the skin around them became paper-thin.

Additionally, the severe agony made her hands immobile. She most recently received a new prescription to address her condition with a different medication. Despite not disclosing the precise medical opinion that caused her problems, Mrs. Dewey believes that an allergic reaction is to blame for them.

Not only that, but it appears that issues are coming up more frequently than ever with gel manicures.

Last month, the British Association of Dermatologists issued a caution that was consistent with her personal experience. This demonstrates the growing frequency with which doctors are treating patients for allergic reactions related to artificial and gel nails.

The frequent reaction was attributed by the British Association of Dermatologists to the usage of at-home gel polish kits and insufficiently trained manicurists in a warning statement. They underlined that the reaction takes place when the UV light, which is necessary for the polymerization process of the polish, is not applied for a sufficient amount of time.

Inadequate UV exposure can cause methacrylates to leak. Gel nail polish’s chemical components are absorbed by the skin. People may experience skin rashes, peeled nails, and in severe cases, respiratory issues as a result. Furthermore, those affected can develop a “life-long sensitization,” a persistent sensitivity or hypersensitivity to particular substances.

Such a response could have significant consequences. People who are afflicted could experience limitations when it comes to getting the necessary future surgery, such as knee replacements, cataract treatments, or dental work. because patients are exposed to the same compounds throughout these treatments that result in their adverse reactions.

Lisa Dewey after gel manicures

Lisa is now in constant pain and struggles to complete even the smallest activities.

Due to the ongoing agony in her hands and nails, Mrs. Dewey’s everyday life has become difficult, requiring regular support from her husband Lee, who is 45 years old. Simple things like shampooing my daughter’s hair have been harder because they need finger movements, she said. If my finger grazes the belt, even strapping her in the car seat becomes agonizing since the damaged flesh exacerbates the pain.

Even when gloves are used, the problem gets worse since the symptoms are made worse by perspiring hands. I can’t use conditioning treatments or hair mousse since anything scented or fragranced aggravates the issue.

Mrs. Dewey is permanently avoiding nail products because she is determined to put her health first. She is also dedicated to alerting people to the dangers involved. “People can receive nail treatments for years without experiencing any problems, but then one day it unexpectedly affects them,” she said. I had scheduled appointments to have my hands and toes done for my forthcoming vacation in August, but I’ve now canceled those plans. My confidence has been greatly impacted by this event.

“Normally, I don’t care what people think, but right now I feel like I need to keep my hands to myself. It’s quite unflattering to have hands like these. This week there is a celebration, but if my hands don’t get better I won’t be going. By raising awareness that things can not be as innocent as they seem, I merely wish to help.

Methacrylates, the chemicals used in gel nail polishes, can cause an allergic reaction if they get on the skin. This may cause the skin to become extremely irritated and the nails to become loose. The painful reaction is most likely caused by at-home gel manicures, although salon nail treatments can also be dangerous if the operator is inexperienced.

“When the ultraviolet lamps, which are used to harden each layer of gel, are not employed for a long enough period of time, methacrylates may enter the skin during gel manicures. It could also happen if the machinery isn’t properly maintained. A chemical reaction to the gel’s ingredients could also happen on the skin around the nails if it is not properly “cured” for the required amount of time.

Every brand of gel polish has a specific curing time that must be followed; these times are frequently either 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or 90 seconds. However, experts cautioned that rushing consumers out of nail salons before the gel has fully dried could potentially cause an allergic response. The toxins may cause ‘life-long sensitivity’ in the victims.


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