Nail damage from gel polish manicure

Andrea F. Chen, Stacy M. Chimento, Shasa Hu, Margaret Sanchez, Martin Zaiac, Antonella Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Manicures can result in nail damage via instrumentation, nail polish, nail polish removers, and artificial nails. We report nail weakness, brittleness, and thinning in five subjects after the application of a new manicure system called gel polish and removal with acetone and manual peeling. All subjects complained that the polish was very difficult to remove and that their nails became much thinner after the procedure. Pseudoleukonychia and onychoschizia lamellina were noted on examination. One subject underwent ultrasound and reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) measurements of nail plate before and after the gel polish application, which showed thinned nail plate (0.063 vs. 0.050cm and 0.059 vs. 0.030cm, respectively). Overall, we call attention to the adverse effects of gel polish manicures in five subjects. In addition, our case illustrates potential utility of ultrasound and RCM in measuring nail plate thickness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-29
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Nail
  • Nail care
  • Nail cosmetics
  • Nail disorders
  • Nail polish
  • Nail varnishes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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