Over filed nails


New Member
What do over filed nails feel like? I’m guessing this is what happened to me, but I’m not sure.

I have long natural nails that I started doing a hard gel overlay on about 6 months ago with zero issues. I recently started going to a new (licensed) salon and noticed that one of my lateral nail folds was becoming mildly tender, as if with a hangnail about two weeks ago. There was never any redness or swelling and this has happened to me even before I started doing gel overlays or going to a salon as I used to do my own nails. About a week ago I went in for a fill after three weeks of weekly color changes. I started to do color changes once a week at this salon and because they do a gel topcoat they use an e-file to take off the polish, which I know can easily go wrong if the tech doesn’t have a good working knowledge on proper e-file technique and this seems problematic to me as I have a very thin gel overlay.

I’ve gone to the salon three times now. The first time the tech took off the polish with an e-file even though I told her it was only regular polish with a regular topcoat, but they were reshaping my nails which had the hard gel overlay so it didn’t concern me. It also seems like this salon does most of their filing work with the e-file. Then the tech put on regular polish with a gel topcoat and every time that I have returned she has taken off my polish with an e-file. I think over time removing polish this way is filing my nail down too much.

This recent visit I had a fill for the first time at the salon. She did the same process in removing my polish and continued to use the e-file to get my nails buffed and prepared for the new layer of hard gel. My nails looked good when I left and I felt no pain when they were being done, but later that night they all started to hurt and it felt like soreness and intense tenderness all around my lateral nail folds, similar to a severe hangnail but on practically every finger.

I’m thinking one of two things. My nails still hurt a week later, though not as severe, so I’m thinking my nails were filed down too much and some layers of the nail plate were shaved off. I know that I have the gel overlay, but I always have done a very thin gel overlay and I think a lot of nail techs aren’t used to that and don’t realize that you can’t use the e-file on it the way that one would for someone who had a thicker build of acrylic or hard gel and I think that she drilled all the way through my old hard gel and was filing my real nail without realizing. She did conment that she doesn’t typically do overlays as thin as I like mine, but since I never have a problem with them breaking nor do I get upset if I ever break a nail during the week, she’s okay with doing it. In my opinion, doing thin gel overlays isn’t really problematic because as I’ve mentioned I’ve had long natural nails for years and years and to me an overlay should just serve as a protective coating to prevent splits. I personally don’t think e-files should be used to shape them and thin natural looking overlays should be filed with a hand file and treated as if a natural nail as opposed to a thicker overlayed tip or sculpted nail with acrylic or gel. Am I wrong?

The other thing I worry about is chronic paryonchia. I’m probably just being paranoid and I doubt it would be on every finger, but I do have some health issues which would make this a possibility and the chronic variant of this nail infection begins gradually not quickly like the acute variant, but like I said there is zero redness, swelling, pus, etc.

I also find that when I wake up in the morning the pain is the most severe and as I start to use my hands throughout the day it goes away and becomes a lot more mild and tolerable. I guess my brain/nerves are just getting used to the pain as I started to use my hands. I’m just surprised that it hasn’t gotten better yet.

The product that was used on my nails is the CND Brisa sculpting hard gel.

Another thing I was thinking, is it possible she got gel onto my skin and it cured? Like, gel in the nail fold. I can’t see anything, but it feels very tight and I can almost pinpoint areas that are hurting.

TLDR: what do over filed nails feel like? I suspect this is what happened to me. I have soreness on almost all of my lateral nail folds since having my hard gel overlay filled in a week ago. They also feel tender when pressing directly on top of the nail. No redness, swelling, or pus. This has never happened to me before. Thanks!
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Active Member
What kind of bit is she using to remove?
There are bits that are specially for natural nails so if shes using a bit thats for artificial this could be the cause for the tenderness!

However as an e file user myself i would never remove gel with a efile! I only use on acrylic to help with the pain in my hands with extra filing (i have fibromyalgia)

I always use acetone and then manually file any bits left over!

I would reccommend getting them removed and giving them time to heal and grow out and apply daily a vitamin oil - if you are conncerned tho id see your gp incase any other damage has occured!

And only accept a removal of they do it in the best interest of your natural nails in the future !

Id imagine each time shes filing and your getting that done weekly the nail hasnt had time to recover then more gel being applied which adheres to the weaker nail probably would cause pain !
We have lots going on in our nails and under it and its conneted to lots of nerves and vessels its important to be safe when it comes to our nails!

I hope it gets better for you soon and the pain goes