Getting your nails done can be the highlight of some people’s day and can be the bane of another’s existence. There are more people than you might imagine that have an allergy to nail polish and other nail products and knowing a bit about this type of allergy is the best way to determine if you might be affected.
It is helpful to first understand a bit about what an allergic reaction actually is. When your body is allergic to something, no matter how small the amount, there are a certain number of side effects you might experience as a result of your body trying to release enough antihistamine to fight off the intruding compound. Some common allergic reactions are swelling in areas that touch the item, closing of the throat, hives, rash, and even head aches. Rashes are commonly called contact dermatitis as they are a result of direct contact with the material or compound to which you are allergic.
Contact Reactions And What To Do
The most common type of reaction to any nail product is going to of course be a contact reaction. This can mean something as simple as a bit of redness at the site to something as horrible as body rashes, trouble breathing, and intense swelling in other parts of the body. The first step to any contact reaction is to assess what is happening. If you are experiencing only mild discomfort you may not need a doctor or any type of intervention. In many cases of mild reaction simply washing off the substance that caused the reaction is enough to stop the reaction and get back to feeling good.
For more intense reactions however there are other measures that might need to be taken. For those that experience mild to moderate reactions something like an allergy pill or an epipen can stop the reaction until a doctor can be contacted. This is something that is easily enough accomplished and that is not always life threatening. In most cases of contact reactions there is little risk of life. With more severe reactions however it may be necessary to see a doctor and even possibly be hospitalized until the reaction is stopped. When a skin reaction occurs T-lymphocytes generate memory cells that help the body remember that it is allergic to any particular substance.
What Makes You Allergic?
There are tons of substances in nail polish and nail products that might cause an allergic reaction in any one individual. Nail polishes contain literally hundreds of different chemicals in each different formulation that may lead to allergies in anyone using them. With substances like toluene sulfonamide formaldehyde resin, thermoplastic resin, and nickel, nail polishes are a veritable gold mine of allergens. If you are aware of any particular substance that you are allergic to you may want to check bottles prior to using any polish to make sure you limit your exposure to the substance.
Symptoms Of Allergy
There are a few different symptoms to look for if you think you may be allergic to a substance. In some cases, fumes from nail polishes and products can cause itching, swelling eyes, swelling in the fingers and skin around the nails, redness, itching, hives, blistering and general pain. These are all side effects that should lessen as you reduce your exposure to the polish or product. It is important that if you get a headache along with any of the symptoms mentioned that you talk to a doctor as it may be a sign of a more serious reaction called anaphylaxis.
Preventing Allergic Reactions
There are a few different ways to prevent severe reactions. First off, if you have any reaction, take the time to quickly and completely remove the polish from your nails. After you have done that make sure you clean your nails and fingers with warm soapy water to remove all traces of the chemical that caused the reaction. If you are having a mild reaction you can use hydrocortisone creams and antihistamine pills to help reduce the reaction. If you have a more severe reaction you may need to seek medical help and see what other options you have in store. Allergic reactions are serious business and should be treated as such.