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Nail Care & Manicures/Red and swollen cuticles


Hey, my names Amberlynn. I have been getting my nails done for many years now and I only went to 2 places. I have never had any problems. I went to a new nail place and for two days after I got acrylics, all my fingers were extremely itchy, to the point where it hurt to itch them but I couldn't help it. The itching finally went away, but then my cuticles started getting realy red. I work as a cashier and everytime I just barely hit them or put pressure on them, it hurts soo bad. My pointer finger cuticle is the worst. It's horribly red and there is little red dots like it's a rash. And there is a tingly feeling when I touch it. I'm worried I am allergic to something or they did something wrong because this has NEVER happened to me. Please help, thank you.

Sounds like you are having a pretty nasty allergic reaction. In most cases, it's the monomer (the liquid portion of the powder and liquid product)that causes reactons like this, and reactions are far more likely to happen when MMA (methyl methacrylate monomer) is used.

If your fingers are still this bad several days after having your nails done, you should see a doctor about it. In the meantime, over the counter products like Benedryl and especially a topical cream or ointment (like Benedryl) that you can rub onto the rash will help with redness, swelling and itching. You can also try soaking your fingers in baking soda dissolved in water. But a doctor will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and prescribe something that will clear it up fast.

Wait a few months before getting your nails done again. Make sure the reaction has had time to completely clear up and your hands are healed. But now that your body has had a reaction to a product, there is a chance that you will be break out anytime you're exposed to the same or similar products. Which means that you might need to start looking for a nail tech who knows their stuff and can use an alternate product on you. (There are some hypoallergenic products out there.)  

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Maggie Franklin


Professional Nailcare: nail enhancement chemistry and technique, mancuring and pedicuring. I am not qualified to give medical advice or make medical diagnoses.


I am a professional nail technician with 17 years experience in the professional beauty industry. I am licensed in the states of California (license #M120766) and Colorado (license #8611.) I have been an active member of the online mailing list at since 1999 where I network with 100s of nail industry professionals around the world. Over the last 15 years I have accumulated several advanced training certificates, including the coveted Creative Nail Designs Master Nail Technician status, and personal training by Tammy Taylor, Tom Bachik, and Tom Holcomb. I briefly joined the competition circuit in 2002, taking first place in the second annual Strut Your Stuff Online competition in the Enhancement 2 category. In 2009 I have decided to make time in my schedule to get back into competition by joining "Team Pink," the competition team captained by current world champion nail technician, Lynn Lammers. I boast several contributions to articles that have appeared in both Nails and Nailpro magazines, including a brief stint as a Nails Magazine Help Desk contributor and now I write a semi-weekly blog for Nails Magazine while continuing to attend tradeshows and continuing education events.

Nail Tech mailist list at

Nails Magazine. Nailpro Magazine. Blogging for Nails Magazine since September, 2008:

CA license #M120766. CO license #8611. CND Master Nail Technician. Tom Holcomb Academy. Personal training with Tom Bachik. Two day advanced training with Tammy Taylor. AEFM certified for use of electric file. HRTE (High Road to Education) in San Jose, CA 2009.

Awards and Honors
2nd Annual Strut Your Stuff Online competition, 1st place in Enhancement 2. Member of "Team Pink" competition team 2009. 3rd place, Novice tip-and-overlay relay at IBS Las Vegas, 2009.

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