Content » Vol 100, November

Clinical Report

Side-effects Associated with Gel Nail Polish: A Self-questionnaire Study of 2,118 Respondents

Justyna Putek, Tomasz Przybyla, Jacek C. Szepietowski, Wojciech Baran, Aleksandra Batycka-Baran
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3684


Gel nail polish is commonly used in manicures; how­ever, research into the side-effects of gel nail polish is scarce and focusses mainly on allergic contact dermatitis. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and characteristics of side-effects associated with use of gel nail polish. A self-questionnaire survey was conducted on a representative sample of individuals (n = 2,118, all female). Of these, 48.3% reported side-effects while applying gel nail polish, approximately 20% during wearing it, and more than 75% after removing the polish. Frequency of changes in the nail plates was significantly higher after removing the gel nail polish than when applying or wearing it (p < 0.0001). Frequency of changes in the nail plates was associated with whether the procedure was performed by professionals or non-professionals. Education about the risk of side-effects and sensitization is crucial for people using gel nail polish.


This study shows that use of gel nail polish has many side-effects. Scarce literature and a lack of education among clients and beauticians lead to the uncontrolled use of gel nail polish. Both home and professionally performed application of gel nail polish have many side-effects; almost one-fifth of female subjects surveyed reported side-effects affecting the nail plate, which is a long-lasting and slowly reversible process. Surprisingly almost 80% of respondents who reported side-effects associated with gel nail polish wanted to continue using gel polish. Dermatologists should be aware of this situation, which they may encounter in everyday practice.

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