Pterygium inversum unguis secondary to gel polish

J. Cervantes, M. Sanchez, A. E. Eber, M. Perper, A. Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Pterygium inversum unguis (PIU) is characterized by the abnormal adherence of the hyponychium to the ventral surface of the nail plate. It can be both unsightly and painful, resulting in morbidity for patients. Gel polish is a popular nail cosmetic that has been reported to cause several complications. PIU may be another adverse outcome. Objective: To highlight a newly recognized adverse effect of a popular beauty technique. Methods: This retrospective and prospective case series reports 17 women who developed PIU after gel polish use. All study-related activities occurred at a University of Miami dermatology outpatient clinic. Results: All 17 subjects developed PIU after two to five years of gel polish application. Nine of 17 patients reported using both UVA and LED light to cure gel polish. Of the remaining eight, five used LED light only and three did not know or could not remember. All but two patients had a resolution of PIU a few weeks after switching from gel polish to regular polish manicures. Conclusion: While it remains undiscerned whether PIU is related to chemicals present in the gel polish or to the application and/or removal process of such, patients and dermatologists should be aware of the potential risks of gel manicures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-163
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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