With nail salons around the country advertising their services at affordable prices, the popularity of gel and acrylic nails have hit its peak. More long-wearing than your standard manicure, it’s the most convenient option for women on the go.

But as the saying goes: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. New research has shown that a certain chemical found in both treatments can cause adverse reactions if not applied properly. Dermatologists in both the UK and Ireland have officially issued a health warning about the methacrylate chemical – a substance that is found in almost all gel and acrylic nails, which is causing an “allergy epidemic” across the two countries.

Allergy tests of 4,931 patients across 13 dermatology units were assessed to come to this outcome, as results showed that at least 2.4 per cent of those people could be suffering from this allergy. Another study conducted in 2017 by the British Association of Dermatologists discovered that the chemical was most likely to cause a reaction when it touches the skin, with side effects including loosening nails or a red and itchy rash that can appear anywhere on the body.

Those affected the most were nail technicians who come into regular contact with the chemical and those who attempt to do their own manicures at home rather than seeing a professional.

The moral of the story? Go see a qualified nail technician and dump the at-home nail kits in the bin.

Do you prefer to do your own nails or get someone else to do it for you? Let us know in the comments.

Article created in partnership with Over60.

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