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DIY beauty trends have gained immense popularity in recent years. Not only can they save us some money, but being able to beautify ourselves from the comfort of our own homes is undeniably convenient.

One such trend is DIY gel nails, which promise salon-quality results at a fraction of the cost. But while the idea of being your own manicurist may be tempting, it’s important to understand the potential risks and drawbacks involved as well.

Here’s what a general practitioner (GP) had to say regarding the matter. Plus, we share some tips for at-home manicures!

Poorly done DIY gel nails may lead to lifelong health issues


Replying to @Erin Kousen What is a life changing allergy ? #publichealth #LearnOnTikTok #eureka #mindovermatter #medtok #skingapore #medicaltiktok #familymedicine #gpsamuel #doctorsamuel #drsamuelgp #doctorsoftiktok #tiktokdoctor #dermtok #dermatology #nails #gelnails #nail #singaporedoctor #tiktoksg #UV #uvlamp #gelpolish @GP Samuel Why allergies can be life changing / are gel nails safe ? How do i my own gel nails at home / are DIY nail sets safe ? Acrylate allergies #acrylateallergy #allergy #toothfilling #jointreplacement

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According to a GP Samuel, doing gel nails at home is a bad idea because it increases the risk of developing an allergic reaction.

This is because gel nails contain acrylates, which are compounds that are known to potentially cause allergies and irritation. As different brands and formulas of gel nail polish require different wavelengths and cure times, mismatch between UV lamps and gels, along with inadequate cure times could lead to health risks.

Minor symptoms may include itching and redness around the nail bed, while a severe reaction may lead to respiratory issues, brittle nails, or complete loss of fingernails.

Pretty scary, huh? The medical professional goes on to explain that by then, choosing to stop doing your own nails wouldn’t be enough to cure your symptoms.

“Once you become sensitised to acrylates, that allergy sticks with you,” he explains. The implications of this are concerning, to say the least.

You’ll no longer be able to get composite tooth fillings or undergo joint replacement surgery, should you find yourself looking to undergo either procedure in the future.

What to do when doing gel nails from home

Credit: Unsplash

To ensure a safe gel nail experience, it’s highly recommended to visit a professional nail salon staffed by trained nail technicians who can provide your nails with the best care.

However, if you’re still keen on trying your hand at achieving a professional-looking manicure from home, it’s best to take the necessary precautions.

Invest in high-quality nail polish

At-home nail kits tend to lack strict regulation, so exposure to irritants present in cheaper nail products might lead to the aforementioned allergic reactions.

Ensure that you only purchase high-quality gel polishes that are of salon quality.

Give your nails enough time to rest between gel nail applications

While some can safely get their nails done every few weeks, dermatologists recommend keeping your nails bare from any polish for at least one to two weeks between manicures. This will enable you to check your nails for any abnormalities, such as discolouration, cracks, or infections.

It also allows your nails to rehydrate, strengthen, and repair itself without being constantly subject to chemicals.

Wear open gloves or socks

Credit: @inside19out/Instagram

Chemicals aren’t the only thing you should be worrying about when doing gel nails. Exposure to UV rays could be damaging to the skin around your nails as well.

Experts recommend putting on broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you’re getting gel manicures or pedicures done from home or at the salon. For an added layer of protection, opt to wear open gloves or socks.

If you’d like a peace of mind and the confidence of a beautifully manicured result, it’s best to approach the nail technicians at reputable salons.

And don’t worry, you might not have to break the bank going pro either. Here are some affordable places to gel manicures for under S$40!

Featured image credit: @skingapore