Allergy or Irritation? What to do!

In this blog we will help you navigate the nail allergy dilemma so you can have the Pinterest worthy nails we all dream of! 

Firstly, let’s distinguish between an allergy and an irritation:

An allergy to nail and/or skincare products develops in stages as a result of prolonged exposure to a particular substance that your body doesn’t like. The skin’s natural protective barrier is breached and the immune system responds. Nobody develops an allergy upon first exposure, it takes repeated exposures for this to happen. The condition is usually called atopic dermatitis or eczema.

Symptoms include: Redness, swelling, blistering, dry, bumpy skin and nail plate discolouration, can show up anywhere the allergen has come into contact with the skin (eyes, cheeks, neck). 

An irritation occurs quickly after brief heavy exposure or repeated low exposure. As with allergies, the outer layer of skin has been penetrated and the response is acute and localised. Generally referred to as contact dermatitis.

Symptoms include: Typically a pink hue, blisters, scaly or crusty sores, tends to peak within 24 hours. 

In summary, Irritant reactions can occur after a single exposure, whereas it takes multiple exposures to the same chemical to develop an allergy. Irritations are a lot more common than allergic reactions and allergic reactions tend to be lifelong.

What are the most common ingredients in nail products that often cause nail allergies? 

  • Toluene 
  • Camphor 
  • DBP
  • Methyl Acrylate 

Most of these ingredients are allergens usually found in nail products and cosmetics, however they are in NONE of our products.

What to do if you experience any of the above symptoms

  1. Remove the product immediately 
  2. Apply a nourishing cream
  3. If it has not dissipated within a week, visit a doctor or dermatologist
  4. Speak to a dermatologist/allergist to discover the culprit
  5. Wait for recovery and avoid using any products on the areas

If you think you may have an allergy/irritation, recommend the following:

  • Consult a doctor, allergist or dermatologist to get the proper treatment and diagnosis
  • Stick to one nail polish brand, different brands use different chemical ingredients and mixing them up may be harmful
  • Speak with an expert in the chemical field to discover exactly which ingredients/chemicals you may need to look out for
  • Know the CAS number of the component you are allergic to so it is easier for you or other companies to cross reference with their MSDS