Health risks posed by common nail beauty products

The pursuit of beauty is as ancient as civilization itself. It is one industry that never really sleeps. People are always thinking of new ways to enhance their appearance. It’s not bad. It’s good. Innovation is one of the things that makes the world a better place.

There’s a catch though. We are not always sure whether what we are creating will work. This problem is easier to solve because we can see it manifest openly. Better yet, the product is not producing the expected results so we are highly motivated to tinker with it until it works.

The problem we are looking at today is different. The product actually works. So hurray. The catch here is that it’s doing harm as well as good. Now what? You might say, well… just throw the damn thing away!

Well, not so fast. Beauty is highly sought after. So much so that people are willing to pay the price of giving up a part of their own health so that they can look good. As a result, if someone finds a beauty product that they are convinced makes them look good then they will want to keep using it. To hell with the consequences. It doesn’t help that some of these consequences can take time to develop, thereby giving people a false sense of security.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Anyway, that was just something for us all to think about. Our bodies are us and we should think carefully about what we expose ourselves to. When our bodies suffer we suffer as well. Onto our discussion for the day.

Gel polish
Gel polish needs UV light to cure. The madams know what I am talking about. The UV-light cured polish can cause pterygium. Or let me just unleash its full name for your entertainment. Pterygium inversum unguis (Oh yea) is the adherence of the hyponychium(the skin under the fingernail)to the nail plate. This makes daily life activities annoying because any interactions with the nails generates a jolt of pain. The time for cutting or filing of the nails becomes particularly dreadful. Other side effects included onycholysis(when the nail detaches from the nail bed. Ouch), lesions under the nail plate, and weak or brittle nails.

Nail polish

Standard nail polish doesn’t go scot-free just like that. One potential health risk from it is an allergic reaction to its contents, particularly tosylamide/formaldehyde resin. The ingredients list should be read. It’s about being more protective of our bodies.

Sculptured nails

Acrylic nails is the other fancy name for the artificial nails that people stick on their fingers. Some people are actually allergic to acrylic compounds. Yes, people may be pleased by getting nail lengths that make Dracula blush, but it’s not for everyone. If your body doesn’t want it then please listen. Allergies are not a joke and the more the exposure the more serious the allergic reactions become. We have said it before. There’s what you want and there’s what your body wants. These two things are not always the same. Too many times we veto against the wishes of our body and that doesn’t always end well. We need to be humble enough to learn from the mistakes of others. Learning from our own mistakes all the time is costly. In many ways.

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Nail hardeners
Some contain formaldehyde. They should be avoided. Maybe we can talk just a little bit about what formaldehyde can do to someone. In the short term one can expect watery eyes, a burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, skin irritation… basically the body doesn’t like it. Long term effects point to it as a cancer-inducing agent.

Did you know? Starting at the age of 25 years, a person’s nail growth rate decreases by 0.5% each year! Speaking of age-related nail changes, nails become more brittle (particularly with post menopausal women) with increasing age and therefore there is need to be more cautious when engaging in physical activities. Remember what we said about long exposure to water in our previous article on nail health as well.

The aging nail may appear pale, dull, or opaque. This is a source of concern and confusion when people think that it’s a disease. It could be, since with age the risk of nail infections and onycholysis(painless detachment of the nail from the nail bed. Avoid traumatizing your nails) increases.
The change in appearance could also just be part of the normal aging process. Some nails grow old like that.

Enough writing for me and reading for you. Go think about what you have just read.

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