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Artificial Nails: Acrylics, Gels, and Silks

Gel Nails continued...

There have been reports of skin cancer risk from the UV exposure, which may be a consideration, though you're not getting exposed to a lot of UV light per session.

Gels are more expensive than acrylics, but they may hold their color longer without chipping, so you may not mind the steeper price.

Maintenance: Like acrylics, gels grow out with your nails and need to be filled in every two to three weeks. Your technician will gently file down the gel edge closest to your nail bed, and then fill in the empty area between your nail bed and the existing gel nail.

Removal: You can remove most gel nails by soaking them in nail polish remover. Some nail-sized wraps are filled with nail polish remover, which can loosen the artificial nails enough for removal, without drying out your hands.

As with acrylics, you could get an infection in your nail bed if minor trauma (such as getting your finger caught in a door or accidentally banging your nails against a countertop or other hard surface) causes your gel nail to lift your entire nail off.

With either gels or acrylics, the nail doesn't have to come completely off your finger to cause an infection. If it's loose, but still attached, that could be enough for bacteria or other germs to cause problems.

Silk Nails

These fabric wraps are glued in place to strengthen weak nails or help a cracked nail grow out. Some wraps are made of silk, but others are made of linen, paper, or fiberglass.

Your nail technician will fit the material to your nail's shape, hold it in place, then brush on glue.

Silks are intended to be temporary, and the adhesives will loosen within two or three weeks, or sooner if you wash dishes by hand without gloves. Your nail technician can remove or reapply them at your follow-up visit.

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