Acrylic Nails and Pregnancy

Editorial Team
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Are you pregnant and unsure if acrylic nails are safe? It’s a question many pregnant women ask.

Acrylic nails are a popular beauty trend that involves mixing powder and liquid to the nails, then shaping them into the desired length and shape. Although acrylic nails can make you look attractive, you may be worried about whether or not it is safe to wear them during pregnancy.

To give a response, it’s not so simple.

While Some experts say to skip artificial nails altogether while pregnant, others believe it’s okay as long as you take some precautions.

Better ask clients to postpone their acrylic nail appointments until baby is born, recommends Hilda Hutcherson, MD, clinical professor obstetrics and gynecology Columbia University Medical Center. She proposes that tending to a baby is far less complicated sans two-inch talons.

If you have decided to go for acrylic nails, there are steps that you can take to reduce the dangers.

Understanding Acrylic Nails

If you’re thinking of getting acrylic nails whilst pregnant, it’s vital to know what exactly they are and how they are applied. Acrylic nails are an artificial nail that is created by combining a liquid with a powder to form a paste, which is then applied onto your own nails. The mixture sets up as it dries, making a tough, strong surface that can be sculpted and polished like real nails.

Acrylic nails are a favourite with many people as they have the ability to give you long, strong and lovely nails for weeks. But keep in mind that acrylic nails are not meant for every one and therefore, may be unsuitable for pregnant women.

If you’re thinking about getting acrylic nails while pregnant, speak with your doctor or a manicurist to confirm it’s safe for you.

When you get acrylic nails, make sure you watch what’s being used. Acrylic nails contain different types of acrylates, including MMA (Methyl Methacrylate), a chemical associated with health concerns. Methyl Methacrylate, or MMA, is a very strong adhesive that can cause skin irritation and allergies as well as nerve damage if exposed to the skin.

There are salons which continue to utilise MMA in their Acrylic nail items, and it’s better to ask before having your nails done.

As a general rule, it is advised to stay away from products with toxic ingredients while being pregnant. If you aren’t sure if a specific nail product is safe, ask your doctor or manicurist beforehand.

It’s also crucial that the salon you go to has good hygiene practices that can prevent infections from spreading.

So, while acrylic nails are great for giving length to your natural nails, they don’t come without their risks. If you are pregnant, consult with your doctor or a nail technician that can determine the safety of acrylic nails during this time.

Always be mindful of the products used and the salon should have good hygiene practices.

Acrylic Nails and Pregnancy: The Basics

To start with, know that your nails can change when you’re pregnant. They’ll grow faster and stronger, but they might also become weaker, more brittle.

If your nails are more brittle than normal, you might want to think about skipping out on acrylics because they can worsen the condition of your natural nails.

When you’re getting your nails done make sure to pick a salon with high hygiene practices. This can help to prevent infection.

The chemicals used in acrylic nails are considered safe for use when you’re pregnant, says Mothertobaby (the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists service). But some chemicals—like toluene and formaldehyde—can be dangerous in high concentrations. Ask your doctor or nurse in case you’re worried.

All in all, acrylic nails are fine when pregnant as long as you’re careful. Select a well-regarded salon, make sure they are practising proper sanitation and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Chemicals in Acrylic Nails

Nail salons rely on a variety of chemicals for application, fill-in, filing and removal of acrylic nails. Here are some of the most common chemicals used in nail treatments:

  • Toluene: This product is utilised for the purpose of breaking down and diluting nail varnish. Toluene has been connected to developmental and reproductive problems, making it a no-go during pregnancy.
  • Formaldehyde: Nail polish and nail hardeners contain formaldehyde as a fixative. It’s classified as a carcinogen and can cause respiratory issues, so it should be avoided when you’re pregnant.
  • Acetone: Acetone removes nail polish or acrylics. It is irritant to skin and mucous membranes so use it in a well ventilated area.Mask can cause skin irritation and dryness, so should be used only in a well-ventilated area.
  • Phthalates: Phthalates are added to keep nail polish from becoming brittle and flaking. They’re endocrine disruptors, and because they’ve been associated with developmental and reproductive problems you should avoid them while pregnant.
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): DBP is added to nail polish so that it becomes flexible and does not break or crack. It’s been connected to developmental and reproductive problems, so steer clear of it when you’re pregnant.

Please remember, however, that this risk is generally low and exposure to these chemicals during a manicure or pedicure is relatively minimal for you as well as your baby. But if you’re worried about exposure, have the technician (or ask to) use these chemicals-free products or even bring your own polishes.

In general, it’s better to err on the side of caution with regards to chemical exposure during pregnancy.

If you have questions about the safety of a specific product or treatment, consult your healthcare provider.

Potential Health Risks

There are health risks associated with Acrylic Nails while Pregnant. Here are some of the concerns that you should be aware of:

Fumes and Smell

A major issue that prevails with acrylic nails is the harmful fumes and strong odors they emit. These fumes are bad to inhale, particularly for pregnant women. Breathing in these vapours could cause queasiness, cerebral pains, and mixed upness.


There is concern that the chemicals in acrylics can up your risk for miscarriage. While the literature on this subject is scant, it’s probably better to be safe than sorry and avoid getting acrylic nails while you’re pregnant.

Endocrine System

The endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in acrylic nails can also impact your hormonal health. Exposure to these substances can interfere with this fine-tuned regulation and lead to you getting sick.


There is some reason to think that the carcinogenicity of acrylic nail chemicals may be significant. And while the odds are low, it’s still a consideration when thinking about getting acrylics during pregnancy.

On the whole, although acrylic nails can appear to be just another beauty treatment with no red flags, there are health risks that one must consider. If you’re expecting, it’s best to steer clear of acrylic nails and go for something more organic.

Safety Measures for Pregnant Women

If you’re pregnant and thinking of getting acrylic nails, there are some precautions that you should take to reduce the risks. Here are some tips to help keep you and your baby safe:

Wear Gloves

Glove up for your skin’s sake. Gloves also stop the chemicals being absorbed into your skin which can hurt your baby. Ensure the gloves are made of nitrile or latex – vinyl gloves do not provide sufficient protection.

Work in a spot that has a decent wind stream

Proper ventilation is paramount when dealing with acrylic nails. Provide proper ventilation and cross-ventilation in the salon. Opt for a salon that has extraction or open windows, if at all possible.

Take Breaks

By taking breaks while getting acrylic nails, you can limit your exposure to chemicals. After 30 minutes, step outside for some fresh air and give your body a chance to heal.

Avoid Certain Chemicals

Pregnant women should avoid certain chemicals found in our acrylic nails. No formaldehyde, toluene or DBP. These substances can result in birth defects and problems with your baby’s growth.

Practice Good Hygiene

Be sure to wash your hands well after getting acrylics in order to rinse away any chemicals that may have touched your skin. Also, stay away from your face/lips when professional is close.

These precautions will help reduce the dangers of getting acrylic nails while pregnant. Always keep your health and the health of your baby as a top priority.

Alternatives to Acrylic Nails

If you’re pregnant and worried about the safety of acrylic nails, there are other options to think about. Here are a few options:

Gel Nails

Nail gel nails are often a good alternative to acrylics and typically safe to do while pregnant. Unlike acrylics, they are not applied (or removed) with harsh chemicals—which makes them a healthier choice. Gel nails can stay perfect for 14 days and they come in all colours and finishes.

Natural Look

And if you aren’t looking to get acrylics, go natural. Opting for clean, clipped and conditioned nails is always an excellent choice.

Consider a nail fortifier/ strengthener for anti-breakage and growth support. You can also play around with different colours and designs on your nails instead of a regular nail paint.

Pregnancy-Safe Nail Polishes

There are pregnancy-safe options if you’re worried about the chemicals in nail polish. Seek out polishes without formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates. . They even have vegan and non-toxic alternatives that are safe during pregnancy!

The bottom line is, make your safety and comfort a priority throughout your pregnancy. If you have any concerns about the safety of a specific nail procedure, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for medical advice prior to proceed.

Professional Salon Considerations

Before getting acrylic nails during pregnancy, it’s essential to carefully consider your environment. Professional nail salons typically feature well-ventilated environments with products suitable for pregnant women but it would still be wise to take extra precautions – for your own sake and that of the unborn fetus!

Before visiting any salon, be sure it has an excellent reputation and follows proper sanitation procedures to minimise infection risk during pregnancy. Look for salons which use disposable tools or disinfect their equipment between clients.

Once at the salon, inform the nail technician of your pregnancy; they may offer helpful tips or precautions that could ensure its safe delivery. It would also be prudent to bring along some personal nail polish or tools in order to reduce chemical exposure as much as possible.

While getting your manicure or pedicure, be aware of inhaling fumes from nail products. Sit near an open window or door for increased ventilation; alternatively you could consider wearing a mask to filter out potentially hazardous chemicals.

Overall, getting acrylic nails during pregnancy should generally be safe as long as precautions are taken and you visit an established salon.

By following these tips and applying them diligently you can enjoy a relaxing manicure or pedicure without concern over its effect on the baby’s well being.

Nail Care During Pregnancy

acrylic nails and pregnancy

Preserving your nails during pregnancy is essential, since hormonal shifts and nutritional depletion can affect their condition, making proper nail care during gestation essential. Below are a few helpful hints regarding nail care during gestation:

Maintain a Healthy Nail Environment for Better Results

Maintaining clean and dry nails are vital in order to avoid nail fungus infections during pregnancy; making sure that after washing or showering you always dry them thoroughly afterwards is also recommended.

Moisturize Your Nails and Cuticles Now

Moisturising nails and cuticles is key in protecting them against becoming dry and brittle, using either lotion or oil as a base moisturiser to keep them hydrated. Massaging the lotion into nails and cuticles also promotes blood circulation which in turn boosts nail growth.

Avoid Biting Your Nails

Biting your nails can damage both nails and cuticles as well as increase the risk of infection, spreading harmful bacteria into your mouth and digestive system.

To combat this from happening again in future attempts at biting nails should include keeping them trimmed while employing bitter-tasting nail polish to discourage biting behaviour.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Pregnant women should avoid using toxic substances on their nails during gestation as this could prove hazardous for both themselves and the baby. Acetone is often used to remove nail polish, yet inhalation or absorption through skin exposure could prove toxic; consider switching over to non-toxic nail polish remover instead.

Regular Manicures

Receiving regular manicures can help your nails remain strong and healthy, though choosing a salon that adheres to proper hygienic practices in order to minimise risk of infection is crucial. Bring along your own tools when visiting any salon so they are properly disinfected before use!

At pregnancy, nail care should always be of primary concern. By following these simple tips and following their advice, your nails can remain strong and healthy; further minimising infection risk or other forms of damage.

Post-Pregnancy Nail Care

Your body changes greatly while pregnant, including its nails. Therefore it’s crucial that postpartum mothers take good care in caring for their nails to help them recover and strengthen them once more after giving birth.

Here are a few helpful hints regarding post-pregnancy nail care:

Maintain a Clean and Dry Environment For Nails

Keep your nails clean and dry when breastfeeding; moisture trapped under nails may lead to fungal infections that require medical intervention. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub under them regularly before drying off completely after hand washing or taking a shower.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Stay away from harsh chemicals on your nails, such as acetone-based nail polish removers that could dry them out or become brittle over time. Instead, opt for gentle nail polish removers without acetone such as this gentle one from Nivea that works just as effectively.

Be wary when using gels and UV lighting systems

If you want a gel manicure, take caution with how UV light is used to cure it. As it can damage both skin and nails, be sure to apply broad spectrum sunscreen beforehand, or consider wearing gloves with cut off fingertips as additional protection from its effects.

Massage Your Nails

Massaging your nails can increase blood flow to your fingertips and promote nail growth, as well as help prevent hangnails or dry cuticles from developing. Use olive or coconut oil as gentle massage oils when massaging nails and cuticles – this may prevent hangnails as well.

Eating Healthier

A nutritious diet can aid nail growth and strength by including foods abundant in biotin like eggs, nuts, and whole grains in your daily meals. In addition, consider supplementing with biotin for additional strength of nails.

By following these tips, you can help your nails recover after pregnancy while simultaneously keeping them strong and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are imPRESS nails safe to use while pregnant?

ImPRESS nails are considered safe to use during pregnancy as they do not contain harmful substances like formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) that may be found in some nail products. Before making any decisions during your gestation period or using any new products during your gestation cycle it’s wise to consult your physician or midwife first.

Can I safely remove my acrylic nails while pregnant?

Yes, pregnant mothers can safely remove acrylic nails using non-acetone nail polish remover or by soaking their nails in warm soapy water. When choosing between the two options it is essential that the use of an acetone-based nail polish remover poses no risks to themselves and their unborn babies.

Are glue on nails a safe option for pregnant women?

Glue on nails are generally safe to use during gestation. However, it’s essential that any nail products containing harmful substances such as formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) be avoided as these could potentially pose risks. Always read product labels carefully to identify non-toxic products with labelling such as “pregnancy safe.”

Is it safe to have acrylic nails while giving birth?

Although evidence does not point toward acrylic nails being detrimental during childbirth, certain hospitals may require you to remove yours prior to giving birth in order to minimise potential delivery complications and safety precautions. It’s always wise to consult your healthcare provider regarding what their policies may be on this matter.

Is UV light for nails safe during pregnancy?

There is no definitive evidence pointing towards UV lighting being harmful during pregnancy; however, it would still be wise to limit exposure as much as possible by wearing UV protective gloves or switching over to nail products without needing UV light for activation.

What are the risks of getting your nails done while pregnant?

Risks associated with getting your nails done while pregnant are generally minimal, however it’s wise to exercise extreme caution by not using nail products containing harmful substances like formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Furthermore, make sure the salon you’re visiting adheres to good hygiene practices to reduce infection risks.

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