Nail Nightmare: How a Manicure Caused Nerve Damage

How to avoid the artificial-nail danger

We're familiar with the dangers at nail salons -- allergic reactions, nailbed destruction and fungus, but nerve damage from a manicure? That's news to us! Girls are going gaga for the gel nail trend -- it's the longer-lasting manicure that uses a UV light. So, why would you get a regular manicure again? Oh, because the gel nail procedure can be harmful if not done properly.

That's what happened to Jane Ubell-Meyer, reports ABC News. "I'm in terrible pain," she explains. "Anything that touched my thumb caused an electric shock… I would get an electric charge that went up my thumb, through my elbow and up to my shoulder."

An Innocent Woman's Nail Nightmare
So how'd this happen? Ubell-Meyer said an electric file scuffed up her skin. Then, her nail technician dipped her fingers into a pot of powdered chemicals, which seeped into the abrasion and migrated, causing nerve damage. Yikes! Looking back, Ubell-Meyer is certain she didn't get a true gel manicure at all.

Expert Advice from a Nail Guru
To help you avoid this nail nightmare, we talked to Amber Edwards, a licensed nail technician, educator and author. She's been working in the nail industry for 18 years, testing products and teaching others about proper manicures and pedicures. "The first thing you need to know is if your manicurist is using a real gel product out of the jar. It's in a gel consistency until it cures under a UV light. It doesn't have an odor. If the product is in a powder and liquid form, then it's not a gel," she points out.

How to Tell If It's a True Gel Manicure
The gel used will also never turn yellow, even if you tan or use chemicals to clean with. They'll last up to three weeks before a fill or maintenance is needed. Gel nails are non-porous, so you will never get a mold or fungus from the product. If these characteristics, don't check out, you don't have a gel manicure, so beware! Other chemicals, like the one Ubell-Meyer was exposed to, can be harmful.

Do you have a nail nightmare to share? Tell us about it! Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
- The Types of Artificial Nails
- The Most Outrageous Nails
- Are Artificial Nails for You?

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