If This Happens To You, You May Be Allergic To Your Regular Manicure

We may not always realize it, but any number of items we come in contact with on a daily basis could be behind an unexpected allergic reaction. Sudden changes in laundry detergent, shampoo, or the cleaning products we use could all potentially evoke symptoms of a skin allergy, reports WebMD. For some, this everyday item may be sitting right on your nails.

According to the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), a chemical compound known as methyl acrylate can be found in the makeup of adhesives, sealants, as well as latex coatings, floor finishes, and even contact lenses. For some, this chemical can prompt an allergic condition known as contact dermatitis (via Allure). Characterized by the breakout of an itchy rash, those with contact dermatitis may also experience swelling, burning, bumps, blisters, or the emergence of dry, scaly patches of skin, as per the Mayo Clinic. But the above items aren't the only places where methyl acrylate can be found. It's also often used in the making of gel nail polish products (via Allure).

Treatment of manicure allergies

In 2018, the British Association of Dermatologists issued a public warning in the U.K. about the hazards of (meth)acrylate chemicals found in both acrylic and gel nail products. "It is really important that people know they can develop allergies from artificial nails," said Dr. David Orton of the British Association of Dermatologists. "The truth is that there will be many [people] 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."

Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network, lends further evidence to these claims, telling Allure that signs of a manicure allergy tend to show up on the eyelids, chin, neck, or side of the face — areas one may not immediately associate with their nails. Making a manicure allergy even more difficult to identify, Parikh states that symptoms may take hours or even months to emerge after the initial polish application.

In the event of a manicure allergy, you'll want to remove contact with the allergen promptly. In doing so, rash symptoms should subside within a matter of days or weeks (via Allure). Some experts also suggest the use of an over-the-counter cortisone cream. However, be sure to consult with a dermatologist if symptoms do not lessen after one to two weeks. Your healthcare provider may opt to prescribe a steroid cream or oral medication to treat your manicure allergy symptoms.