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Question
I have worn acrylic nails for years. I developed an allergic reaction all of a sudden. I got tiny blisters on all my fingers, they were red swollen and very itchy. They started to split on the cuticles. It took me about 2 months to get my hands rights. I did not use acrylic nails again. This weekend i did 2 sets of nails for friends. I did not touch the products at all. The only thing that came in contact with my hands was the buffer. I have broken out in the same reaction this time even worse got rash right up to my elbows. Is it possible I can be allergic to the buffer fibres that come of with filling. Thank you.

Answer
Hi Thanks for your question.

From what you are describing, it sounds like it could be a contact dermatitis that you have developed. The short answer, you need to stay away from the product - altogether. This reaction will always come up when you are in any way close to the product. This also includes the filings from the product, not just the product directly touching you.

You have a few options:

1. Not use the product anymore
2. Try other brands of the product, you may find other manufacturers do not elicit this response (although, there is a big chance that all will)
3. Wear protective equipment when in contact with the product (such as rubber/latex gloves). Although, you need to be aware that you may, over time, develop a contact irritant response to these also.
4. Stock up on anti-histamines to alleviate  the response, although this may not treat the physical outbreak and as a result, the outbreak may still be there, which may or may not be unsightly.

None of this is anything like I'm sure you were hoping to hear, but in these sorts of cases, these really are your only options, but you should be aware, that option 4 is the LEAST favorable response. It simply treats the symptom, not the cause and persisting with product use by simply masking the symptoms may result in a much larger response.

Good luck with everything, perhaps you should consult with your physician also, they may be able to offer alternate solutions or refer you to other practicioners.

Take Care,

Caitlin

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Caitlin Morrison

Expertise

I can confidently discuss all aspects of nail care, nail disorders, nail diseases, infection control, nail enhancements, nail art, airbrushing, manicuring, pedicuring, product awareness, technical aspects, local licensing policies, local insurance issues and the vast range of polishes now on offer. I can't comment on licensing or insurance issues outside of Australia. As I am not a doctor, I cannot diagnose medical conditions over the internet for you. Please also note, that I am in no way qualified and have any knowledge of the hair industry. In Australia, this is a completely seperate area of expertise :)

Experience

I have been playing around with nail enhancements since I was 14, getting them done professionally since I was 18 and I have been a licensed Nail Technician since 2001. Further to this, I have also been a licensed Beauty Therapist since 2011. I have had my own nail salon since 2001 and this has expanded as my skills have to a full beauty salon since 2010.

Organizations
Australian Society of Dermal Clinicans. The Australian Professional Fingernail Association.

Education/Credentials
Nail Techincian since 2001. Beauty Therapist since 2011. Currently studying a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Dermal Therapies - Due to complete this in November 2013.

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