Problem with sensitive client


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Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2005
Reaction score
U.S. of friggin A
I am having problems with one client... let me set this up before I go any further.

Stephanie has horrible atopic dermatitis on her hands and feet. Every crease on her fingers looks like an open crack (very pink) and the onychodermal band on several fingers is broken and split, and she says they are sore.

She came to me from another tech in town with a set of l&p p&w's, which we continued with for a month. She saw a gel client of mine, and said that she wanted to change to gel. Good for me because I'd rather do gel (I've found the illusive "hang of it")

I can't soak off the l&p because of her dermatitis, scrub fresh burns her skin, acetone makes her almost cry.
I have to file so carefully and in such small strokes as to NOT touch her skin with a file.
I wrap her finger, distal knuckle to three quarter's way down the nail bed, in flex wrap to help me to not touch a file to her skin. (not that I'm especially rough on skin with a file, but any kind of bare brush with a file and she jumps)

So far I've hand filed the majority of the l&p off and I've applied a pink/clear NNO over what's left of the l&p. I've used a 180 grit to remove the l&p, prepped the nail as I normally do and made sure to cap the edges with every layer of gel. We've done this twice and the gel bubbles up and flakes off. It doesn't always flake or bubble at the edges, normally it's about 1/8 inch from the edge, so naturally she picks it off and peels it off.

I was taught in school that gel can go over acrylic, but acrylic can't go over gel. Is this right? Do I need to remove what acrylic is left? is that the culprit??

Thank goodness that she's a sweet lady, she's not gotten irritated with me, more with herself because she can't have a soak off like a "normal" person. But I'm at my whit's end with this!

btw, I use Brisa and Creative L&P... but I don't know what the first tech used.

Please help! any suggestions would be wonderful!
Is she being treated by a specialist or a doctor for the dermatitis?
You can apply gel over L&P or L&P over gel. I've done both.
Are you using Brisa lamp?
Are you curing for 2 mins with each layer?
Are the bulbs in your lamp old?
She has a dermatologist that she sees regularly.

The bulbs are.... 4 months old? The light on the back is still green. Yes, I cure for a full 2 minutes on every layer and I use the Brisa lamp.

80% of my clients are gel gals and I've never had anything like this happen before.

Both times I did a pink "bonder" layer, cure 2 minutes, thin layer of clear, cure 2 min, thin layer of clear, cure 2 min, wipe w/ scrub fresh and lightly file where needed, then apply finishing gloss, cure 2 minutes.
Well if it's only happening on her, it can't be you or curing problems. What treatment is she getting from the dermatoligist?
she takes a steroid (prednizone? i don't know the spelling, but it's a pill) and she uses steroid cream/lotion along with a oil kind of lotion that is over the counter, it reminds me of biosilk or the chi silk infusion that you use on your hair.
Oh my goodness--I think I'd run away screaming from a client like this, especially if there are open sores around the nail. Furthermore, If you can't file, soak, or scrubfresh, how can you apply a set of enhancements properly? Does the client present with these symptoms all the time, or do they flare up occasionally?

Ouch. Like I said, I'd personally run away. Some people just cannot wear enhancements. :)
I'm disregarding all the problems with her skin on this post and just concentrating on the nail problems.

I have hd problems when applying gel over l&p. The gel just didn't adhere properly and you could just peel the gel off. It turns out that you shouldn't scrubfresh the l&p before application, only the exposed natural nail area. So what I do is to scrubfresh as I would with gel, and then buff over the nails again with a 180 grit to make sure that the surface isn't smooth, and then dust off with a brush. I have found that since doing it this way I have had no problems - touch wood!

thanks so much for the help geeks!! i'll see her this evening and try it Sass!

and btw, i do use scrubfresh, but i fold a no lint wipe into a small rectantle so i can better control where it touches.

thanks again everybody!!!

Here's exactly what I was talking about. She came in tonight, with one still bubbling. The only one that she hadn't picked at.

I ended up filing away whatever was left of the gel and almost all of the acrylic, then I followed what Sass said. They looked great when she left, and I made her promise me that she'd call the second she had any problems.

I'll post again in 2 weeks on her next appt.

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