Who doesn’t want lovely manicured nails without the bother of applying nail paint every week? Going down the memory lane, when we wanted lengthy claws, nail stickers felt like our only choice. 

Healthy, beautiful, and long nails are every woman’s desire, as they add confidence to her personality. Although some women are naturally blessed with good-looking, long nails, there are a lot more women nowadays who get their nails done to make them look perfect. 

In this contemporary era, nail enhancement has taken a leap in the beauty treatment industry. It is now so simple for women to find a nail studio or parlour in every nook and corner.

Nail extensions give the desired makeover to your otherwise unkempt and unseemly nails. In the current times, this has become a fashion statement, and five in ten women undergo this nail enhancement treatment.

It is irrefutable that these nails do look fancy and classy, as well as attract people’s attention, but their unspoken side effects are scary.

In addition to this, during the pandemic, polymer gel extension was a potential impediment while checking body oxygen levels using an oximeter. This is because the infrared rays of the oximeter could not penetrate the polymer present in gel extensions. 

A pulse oximeter is a medical device that is usually placed on a fingertip to estimate the oxygen saturation levels in the blood and the pulse rate using light beams.

It is also not recommended to get these gel extensions when you already have brittle nails, as these enhancements make the nails more brittle and weaker.

Let’s learn more about the certain downsides of artificial or synthetic nail treatments that the majority of the female population is unaware of. 

Types of nail extensions 

  • Acrylic nails
  • Gel nails
  • Silk nails 

Acrylic nails and gel extensions are not identical, but they are somewhat similar. Although both techniques give the same appearance, acrylic is a two-step procedure that involves powder and liquid, both of which are air dried, whereas gel extensions are hard gel or structure gel fixed with ultraviolet or LED light.  

The difference between them is that gel extensions take a little more time and work to remove as the gel is hard. 

In the case of structure gel, these nail extensions are easy to soak off and a good choice for people who have good, nice-looking natural nails. They just improve the durability of the nails by creating a solid cap on the natural ones without applying any hard gel or chemicals. 

Due to the further advancement in the beauty industry, we now have more options other than acrylic and gel extensions. To improve the look and feel of the nails while avoiding side effects, quick fixes such as pressing nails, SNS dip powder, and other temporary gel extensions can be used. 

Check out some possible facts about nail extensions: 

Getting an extension done can be an ordeal. It requires hours to sit in a nail salon and get our fingers carved with a jelly-like powder, and the refilling process is a must every 3 to 4 weeks.   

Wondering, if it is worth so much time and money! Let’s discuss the pros and cons of the nail extension procedure in detail. 

Are artificial nails safe? 

You must be wondering how artificial nails or gel extensions can have such shocking side effects.  The truth is, the side effects can actually reach a point where you might lose your fingers if you do not take preventative measures and receive timely treatment. 

These side effects include: 


As the process requires too many chemicals and hard gels, they can cause your natural nails to get infected. If you do not take proper care and clean the nails regularly, micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and yeast can grow in the gap between the nails, leading to bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections, respectively.  

Green or blue nails, as well as spots, are the most common signs of infection. If infected nails are left untreated, they may cause severe skin infections. 

Read about: The Shocking Reasons Why We Get Pimples In The Same Spot Again And Again!

Allergic responses 

Both the nail makeover and refilling processes require the use of chemicals, which can cause your skin to become fragile. Nail artists use these chemicals to remove inflammation or redness around your nails, but you never know when these chemicals start irritating your skin. The continuous use of chemicals makes your skin catch infections easily and becomes the main reason for adding discomfort.

Get an Allergy Test done right away to prevent these reactions at an early stage.

Brittle nails

As it is mentioned above, the entire process requires the use of chemicals. The beautician soaks your fingers in acetone for about 10 to 20 minutes. Acetone is a colourless, volatile substance that dries out your natural nails and eventually irritates your skin. Moreover, it makes the nails too brittle, delicate, and thin. 

Common nail care tips to minimise damage

Despite these odds, if you are fond of artificial nails and can’t wait to go to a nail studio to get one more stylish structure on your nails, you should add these easy and common nail care tips to reduce the chances of getting infections or other side effects. 

  • It is strongly recommended that if you already have a fungal or bacterial infection, stay away from artificial nails.
  • To prevent infections, you can tell your nail manicurist not to cut the nails or the cuticles too much. This will help you avoid further side effects.
  • Always choose a nail salon that fixes nail polish with LED lights or with a small amount of ultraviolet light. Apply sunscreen to your hands and nails thoroughly before going under the light.
  • During the removal, the manicurist soaks your nails in the acetone solution. Apply a cream or moisturiser to your hands and nails before soaking.
  • Create a gap of at least 2 months between the next nail enhancement sessions. This will help your nails recover and avoid frequent chemical exposure. 
  • Consume organic supplements such as multivitamins including biotin, zinc, and keratin to help your nails become stronger even after extension removal.
  • Opt for artificial nails during special occasions only instead of getting them on a permanent basis.

Final thoughts

Undoubtedly, artificial nails provide a great look and feel to your hands in case you have unkempt nails. They come in very handy in situations when you need to go to a party or an event and you don’t have enough time to groom your nails. Fixing them on your own can be risky and lead to infections, so always look for a professional manicurist who gets that done for you. 

In combination with these, you should keep an eye on your nail health and must inculcate the above easy-to-do nail skin tips in your routine habits if you are a nail enhancement freak. 

As soon as you get any kind of infection or find your nails changing their colour and texture, consult a dermatologist. You should also imbibe a habit of regular health tests that can clearly tell you about your current health issues and warn you of any impending risk factors helping you get the right treatment on time.  

Stay beautiful and stylish, but don’t forget to keep a tab on your health, as it matters the most! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What type of fake nail is the healthiest? 


Soak-off gel nails are much safer than acrylic nails.

Q2. Which type of fake nail is the best? 


Acrylic nails are the most affordable, stronger, and durable, making them a good option for active women. 

Q3. What is the least damaging nail treatment?


Structure gel is the least damaging nail treatment, as it just creates a solid capping on natural nails. 

Q4. What can I use instead of fake nails? 


Nail stickers, dip powder extensions, gel nail paint, and gel nail extensions are the best alternatives to fake nails.

Q5. What salon treatment is best for weak nails?


Adding keratin proteins to a nail care solution can help improve the condition of damaged nails.

Written by: Anjali Dharra

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