Nail technician

Risk level

Nice nails with side effects

Nail technicians extend, repair and decorate nails with various materials and varnishes. A natural flair for colour and form as well as a service-minded approach are all good attributes for anyone wanting to become a nail technician. However, the glue used frequently causes eczema.

What are the risks?

Acrylates are substances found in the glue used to build up nails. They are highly allergenic and risky for everyone, even those who haven't had atopic eczema as children. Acrylates can penetrate gloves and cause eczema on the fingers.

Many glues and varnishes also have strong odours that can create problems for the airways and the breathing if you are sensitive to them.

Prevention and avoidance

Look out for special packaging that means that the glue doesn't drip. This reduces the risk of coming into contact with the harmful acrylates.

Good ventilation means that strong odours disappear more quickly, and make it easier to breathe.

It's worth knowing that if you do develop an allergy to acrylates, it will be difficult to carry on working as a nail technician.

Want to know more?

If you are thinking about becoming a nail technician but are wondering about the risk of allergy and eczema, get in touch with your school healthcare service or careers advisor.