Maybe you’re looking forward to getting a manicure. You could stop by a strip shopping center in Henderson, or a spa in Boulder City, or a kitschy salon just off the Strip in Las Vegas.
You probably haven’t stopped to think about suffering nerve damage.
Unfortunately, it is a legit risk. Manicures known as “gel manicures” have been linked to nerve damage in some women. Patrons getting gel manicures get their nails sanded down with a vibrating electric file, then painted with a “gel” mixture which is solidified when the nails are heated under an ultraviolet lamp.
But when the rough sanding of the nails also scrapes away skin layers on the fingertips, the fingers become vulnerable to toxic chemicals in the polish mixture. While true “gels” are made of benign materials and are therefore not dangerous, some salons use mixtures that are made of harmful glues, powders, or acrylics which are marketed as gels.
These mixtures may contain ethyl methacrylate or methyl methacrylate, both of which have been linked to nail damage and deformity as well as contact dermatitis. So if these substances penetrate your skin, the nerves in your fingers could be damaged permanently.
If the so-called gels are in unmarked containers, or if your manicurist cannot tell you the ingredients in them, then you should be wary of them being applied to your nails. Also, if the gels don’t soak off easily in solvents which are supposed to remove acrylics, or you experience any swelling, redness, or other signs of infection, there may be an unsafe substance in your nail polish.
If you feel that you may have suffered nerve damage as a result of a gel manicure, seek medical attention and then contact a personal injury lawyer.