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Help! Bad allergy & don't want to stop being a nail tech

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NailsbyMads

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Hello!! I’ve been a nail tech for 2 years now. Unfortunately, before I took the course I attempted to do my own gel extensions and for the better part of 4 months was doing it completely wrong. I took the course, loved it saw what I had been doing wrong and fixed it. But the allergy had already taken root and now I can’t touch any of my gels, Polygel or acrylics. I’ve been using nitrile gloves, changing them every 30 mins and I even double glove with acrylics because those are the worst for me. Even with the gloves my fingers come out red, blustery, and covered in the red, bumpy rash, the rash never goes past the lower knuckles. Ive been on a waitlist to get tested but it’s a long wait, I need help on what gloves I can try to avoid the reaction. I can’t stop being a nail tech it’s my income. Please help a girl out!
Ps- I’ve tried using CND brisa as it’s hypoallergenic, but no luck. I have a tester sample coming in from biosculpture and I’m hoping that’s safe for me
 

Haircutz

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I gave up doing nails due to becoming allergic to the products and sold all my stock and equipment.
Honestly, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not worth the risk to your health. :(
 

NailsbyMads

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I gave up doing nails due to becoming allergic to the products and sold all my stock and equipment.
Honestly, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not worth the risk to your health. :(
Yeah I know it’s not, but it’s currently my only source of income while we’re in a pandemic and I’m also going through the process of getting my permanent residency (Canadian married to US citizen) so if I stop doing this, I’m jobless 🙃 I will stop once I have the job security to do so, but for now, Im looking for some thick gloves that’ll help me. I’m sorry your allergy took you out of the game. It sucks so much :(
 

Haircutz

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Maybe try a product called ‘gloves in a bottle’? It’s a lotion that you rub on your hands to form a barrier against harsh chemicals. If you use this and nitrile gloves, it might help you in the short term?
 

Thebesttech

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There's nothing you can do. And it will only get worse. This is a big problem for nail techs. It can take years to develop allergies. All of the old techs, are at a high risk of developing allergies.

If your skin is blistering, that means it bad, very bad. It can be crippling. I have allergies to a certain ingredient, but instead of my hands, it goes to my scalp. You can only imagine what a nightmare that is.

That said, you might not even be allergic to nail products. You might be allergic to an ingredient in the soap or shampoo that you are using. The only way to find out is through the patch testing.
 

BobSweden

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But the allergy had already taken root and now I can’t touch any of my gels, Polygel or acrylics.

I’ve been using nitrile gloves, changing them every 30 mins and I even double glove

I’ve tried using CND brisa as it’s hypoallergenic, but no luck. I have a tester sample coming in from biosculpture and I’m hoping that’s safe for me
The gels, Polygel and acrylics most probably contain HEMA. So perhaps no surprise that if you are allergic to one, you are allergic to others.

If you do have an allergy to HEMA, normally this encourages allergies to other ingredients too. That you can't use Brisa, indicates that your immune system has probably become too sensitive. You can read more about this condition here: https://ikoniqnails.com/nailproductallergy

You might find that you can use a dipping system that is based on cyanoacrylate (rather than gel).
 

GlitterPink

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Have you tried a barrier cream before putting on gloves?
 

NailsbyMads

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The gels, Polygel and acrylics most probably contain HEMA. So perhaps no surprise that if you are allergic to one, you are allergic to others.

If you do have an allergy to HEMA, normally this encourages allergies to other ingredients too. That you can't use Brisa, indicates that your immune system has probably become too sensitive. You can read more about this condition here: https://ikoniqnails.com/nailproductallergy

You might find that you can use a dipping system that is based on cyanoacrylate (rather than gel).
It’s not for my nails, it’s for my clients, I’ve given up doing my nails, I just need a thick set of gloves that actually protect me. I’ve tried Hema free products to no avail. I actually already looked into the products by IKON.IQ and saw that article but unfortunately they aren’t available for shipping to where I am. So now it’s back to hoping to find better gloves. Thanks for your input, I appreciate you taking your time to help me!
 

BobSweden

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It’s not for my nails, it’s for my clients, I’ve given up doing my nails, I just need a thick set of gloves that actually protect me. I’ve tried Hema free products to no avail. I actually already looked into the products by IKON.IQ and saw that article but unfortunately they aren’t available for shipping to where I am. So now it’s back to hoping to find better gloves. Thanks for your input, I appreciate you taking your time to help me!
I don't know when you asked us about shipping to your country, but we are now shipping to the USA and Canada. If you send me a message which country, I will look at what is possible. The only problem is the shipping costs outside EU can be steep, especially for small orders.

See if you can find some 4H rates gloves live these:

I don't know how comfortable these are to use in a salon, but perhaps it is worth trying.
 

acarter1984

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So sorry to hear that hun. Definitely worth getting tested - it might even be something other than the acrylic you're allergic to?

I'd recommend trying something other than nitrile gloves too, just to be sure. Maybe try another type of disposable glove? Have you tried powdered vs non powdered?

Hope you get to the bottom of it soon x
 

Katebbaby

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Over exposure is usually the reason for reactions which lead to allergies. As above have said be super meticulous how you work and storage of waste etc. Once you develop an allergy it’s usually really far gone from a reaction and needs to be addressed as it won’t go away.

Ensure no products come into contact with your skin, even from your nail brush when holding product can get transferred over time. Work tidy, clean and safe.

hope you find a solution x
 

AlexTheKing

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The gels, Polygel and acrylics most probably contain HEMA. So perhaps no surprise that if you are allergic to one, you are allergic to others.

If you do have an allergy to HEMA, normally this encourages allergies to other ingredients too. That you can't use Brisa, indicates that your immune system has probably become too sensitive. You can read more about this condition here: https://ikoniqnails.com/nailproductallergy

You might find that you can use a dipping system that is based on cyanoacrylate (rather than gel).
This is a working link (at least for UK) to the article on ikoniqnails: https://ikoniqnails.com/gb/blog/pos...ng-about-uk-artificial-nail-allergy-epidemic/ in case someone wants to see more details about the allergy research on HEMA etc.
 

AlexTheKing

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Hello!! I’ve been a nail tech for 2 years now. Unfortunately, before I took the course I attempted to do my own gel extensions and for the better part of 4 months was doing it completely wrong. I took the course, loved it saw what I had been doing wrong and fixed it. But the allergy had already taken root and now I can’t touch any of my gels, Polygel or acrylics. I’ve been using nitrile gloves, changing them every 30 mins and I even double glove with acrylics because those are the worst for me. Even with the gloves my fingers come out red, blustery, and covered in the red, bumpy rash, the rash never goes past the lower knuckles. Ive been on a waitlist to get tested but it’s a long wait, I need help on what gloves I can try to avoid the reaction. I can’t stop being a nail tech it’s my income. Please help a girl out!
Ps- I’ve tried using CND brisa as it’s hypoallergenic, but no luck. I have a tester sample coming in from biosculpture and I’m hoping that’s safe for me
I can share my wife's story about fighting eczema she got years before starting nail tech career, and which got worse as the result of doing nails. Actually, it's quite similar to yours. She started with doing her own nails to get some practice and didn't consider the allergies she had had by the time (it was low to moderate bumpy rash that only happened from time to time so no wonder she ignored it). Quite soon she realised it's becoming more serious so she started taking action as she really wanted to be in this profession.

Using thick enough gloves didn't really help in stopping the allergy but that's a must for sure. We bought some expensive ones but it was clear that wasn't going to reverse the issue. Liquid gloves even made the allergy worse. Then we started checking all the elements that might cause the allergy. She got herself a powerful nail dust collector, first with a bag then with a small HEPA filter. There were no improvements whatsoever, so I did some research and came to a conclusion that the chemical fumes from the gels (she doesn't do any acrylic nails btw) are the main cause and of course the dust collector with only HEPA filter doesn't help with those. The only solution to this issue (apart from stopping doing nails) was to buy a rather expensive device called "fume extractor" which is essentially a vacuum with a very sophisticated (depending on the price) filtering system. The carbon filter inside captures the chemicals and doesn't let them out. Most of the smells were completely or partially gone once she started using the extractor, so that was a good sign and gave us some hope.

It took her roughly two months of using the device to feel the difference and we think it really worked in our case. I'm not going to share any links as I'm not sure a humble new member like me won't be banned for that, but anyone interested is welcome to PM me.

A side note. If you have an allergy, usually it takes time for it to go even in case of no allergens coming in! How much time you will need depends on your immune system and how sensitive it is. So in our case it was only after two months of "reduced or minimum allergen intake" when we actually saw the difference.

In theory, a good ventilation system would also do and "carry away" all the contaminated air, but in practice not many salons have a really good one, while having one at home is an even more expensive option.
 

Katebbaby

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I can share my wife's story about fighting eczema she got years before starting nail tech career, and which got worse as the result of doing nails. Actually, it's quite similar to yours. She started with doing her own nails to get some practice and didn't consider the allergies she had had by the time (it was low to moderate bumpy rash that only happened from time to time so no wonder she ignored it). Quite soon she realised it's becoming more serious so she started taking action as she really wanted to be in this profession.

Using thick enough gloves didn't really help in stopping the allergy but that's a must for sure. We bought some expensive ones but it was clear that wasn't going to reverse the issue. Liquid gloves even made the allergy worse. Then we started checking all the elements that might cause the allergy. She got herself a powerful nail dust collector, first with a bag then with a small HEPA filter. There were no improvements whatsoever, so I did some research and came to a conclusion that the chemical fumes from the gels (she doesn't do any acrylic nails btw) are the main cause and of course the dust collector with only HEPA filter doesn't help with those. The only solution to this issue (apart from stopping doing nails) was to buy a rather expensive device called "fume extractor" which is essentially a vacuum with a very sophisticated (depending on the price) filtering system. The carbon filter inside captures the chemicals and doesn't let them out. Most of the smells were completely or partially gone once she started using the extractor, so that was a good sign and gave us some hope.

It took her roughly two months of using the device to feel the difference and we think it really worked in our case. I'm not going to share any links as I'm not sure a humble new member like me won't be banned for that, but anyone interested is welcome to PM me.

A side note. If you have an allergy, usually it takes time for it to go even in case of no allergens coming in! How much time you will need depends on your immune system and how sensitive it is. So in our case it was only after two months of "reduced or minimum allergen intake" when we actually saw the difference.

In theory, a good ventilation system would also do and "carry away" all the contaminated air, but in practice not many salons have a really good one, while having one at home is an even more expensive option.
I’m in no way saying this is the case with your wife but with most “reactions “ they are the body’s way of saying it doesn’t agree with something, if however continued over exposure to said allergens happens then this reaction will turn into an “allergy” which is pretty hard to eliminate with filters gloves etc in fact it’s usually PERMANENT.

Working every day with chemicals and without working safe clean and with good product knowledge then sadly will result in some form or reaction. I’ve seen many times techs wear gloves only to touch their face, ear, arm without even realising (kind of defeats wearing them) wiping brush continuously onto paper towel leaving residu, the list is endless. education is the key when exposing ourselves to chemicals (as that’s what they are) having a good product knowledge not just what product are but how they work and contraindications of said products.

I hope your wife is ok. Xx
 

Katebbaby

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whatsoever, so I did some research and came to a conclusion that the chemical fumes from the gels (she doesn't do any acrylic nails btw) are the
Just to note nail enhancement products don’t produce fumes they produce vapour which is completely different, just think it’s important people understand the chemistry 👍
 

AlexTheKing

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Just to note nail enhancement products don’t produce fumes they produce vapour which is completely different, just think it’s important people understand the chemistry 👍
Thanks for correcting, I did mean vapour, it's just the manufacturers of the extractors who call them "fume extractors" that made me use "fume". Obviously you don't have a internal combustion engine on your nail desk that produces real fumes from burnt gases :)
 

Feline

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Not down to nail products, but I had a bad reaction to an illegal chemical which was included in a new sofa that I had bought for my home.

It sent my immune system into absolute overload and I was highly sensitive to everything.. it was literally as if I had no skin I could feel everything and even the floor I walked on burned, areas I sat on etc same.

It took over a year to gradually let my immune system settle, all whilst wearing a baggy pair of pyjamas loaned from my son as even clothing felt like it burned.

The only way to settle the immune system is to stop the exposure to whatever it is that’s set it off and including new potentials that could set it off while delicate.

I wouldn’t have been able to use any nail product on my nails going through it and was terrified that I’d never be able to again, but was able to in the end after testing (which was terrifying btw, didn’t want to set myself back).

If you keep exposing yourself it’l get worse, and with nail chemicals that are totally legal this is no exception.. dusts included.

Keeping lids on always, not leaning arms in desks and not hovering over open product or product in use too closely is helpful, how easy is it to try and be precision and get to close? Too easy.

Hope things settle x
 
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