How long will my nail hurts after arcylic?

How Long Will My Nails Hurt After Getting Acrylics?

Getting your nails done with acrylics is a fashionable way to lengthen and beautify your natural nails. Acrylic nails can last weeks and are customizable, but many people feel discomfort during and after the application process. 

Acrylic nails are created by mixing a liquid monomer with a polymer powder to form a thick, spreadable acrylic formula. This is then applied over your natural nails and shaped to create an artificial nail tip.

Although acrylic nails are beautiful, the procedure involves filing and exerting pressure on your natural nails. This can result in pain and discomfort. Furthermore, chemicals in the acrylic formula can irritate the skin and nails.

If you question, “Why do my acrylic nails hurt?” you’re not alone. Many people experience discomfort when getting acrylic nails, but this can be minimized or avoided with appropriate preparation and aftercare.

This article will discuss the causes and remedies for pain caused by acrylic nails and some safer alternatives to consider. Read on to learn all about controlling pain and discomfort with your new acrylic manicure.

Why Do Acrylic Nails Hurt?

There are a few critical causes of why your nails may pound, sting, or remain uncomfortable after an acrylic application:

Filing the Natural Nails

Your nail tech will first file your nail to rough it up and thin out the nail surface. This permits the acrylic formula to bond correctly. Still, this filing can cause some irritation, swelling, and discomfort.

With an electric file, you can lessen the damage compared to using metal files, but filing is still necessary. Those with already thin or weak nails may find the filing especially troublesome.

The Acrylics Adhesive and Formula Can Cause Irritation

The formula used in acrylic nails may irritate some people. This is because the acrylic liquid contains chemicals such as ethylene glycol and methacrylate monomers that can dry out and irritate natural nails and skin.

Moreover, when the acrylic is cured under the UV or LED lamp, it can cause a warming sensation or tightness, which is quite usual.

However, people with sensitivities may experience stinging, itching, redness, or even an allergic reaction to the acrylic chemicals.

Application Pressure

When applied and shaped over your nails, acrylic can stress the delicate nail beds. Inexperienced technicians may use more force than needed, especially when applying thicker or longer acrylics.

This can compress your nail beds and cause throbbing pain. While trimming acrylics, you may feel pulling or tugging sensations, which can be more pronounced for those new to the process.

Weak Natural Nails

If your nails are naturally thin, brittle, or weak, they will be more sensitive to acrylic application. They may not be able to handle the added weight.

As a result, you may experience more uneasiness, longer healing time, and even possible cracks or breaks. Additionally, if you buff weak nails too forcefully during preparation, it can cause further issues.

Acrylics need pressure, filing, and chemicals to hold on properly. While most nail discomfort fades within a few days, knowing the source of nail pain helps you manage it.

How Long Will My Nails Hurt After Getting Acrylics?

It is expected to experience pain or discomfort during the acrylic nail application process. This may feel like pressure, pinching, or tugging on the nail beds. The initial uneasiness may last a few hours to a full day until the nails adjust to the acrylics.

After applying the acrylic formula to your nails, any tenderness, soreness, or throbbing should improve within 1-3 days as your nails adapt and the added weight is reduced.

However, there may be an underlying problem if you still feel pain, swelling, or discomfort after 3-4 days. Ongoing issues could be caused by:

  • An allergic reaction or sensitivity to chemicals in the acrylic formula
  • An overgrowth of acrylic puts too much stress on the nails
  • Damage to the nail beds from improper filing or trimming
  • A bacterial or fungal nail infection

If you have constant and intense pain that doesn’t improve with at-home care, you should seek medical treatment. If the uneasiness continues for more than three to four days, visiting your nail technician or doctor is essential. They will be able to identify if there is an infection or a reaction and provide suitable treatment.

When getting acrylic nails, most people experience minor uneasiness for the first few days. Monitoring pain levels can help you care for your new manicure.

Tips to Prevent Nail Pain with Acrylics

Although some discomfort and uneasiness are normal when wearing acrylic nails. You can take steps to reduce the probability of experiencing throbbing, stinging, or prolonged pain.

You should explore different salons and read reviews before choosing one. Look for nail salons and technicians who have received first-rate training and have positive reviews. This way, you can reduce the risk of damage and discomfort. Make sure you adequately vet your nail professional to avoid over-filing and inappropriate applications.

You should take an OTC pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, an hour before your appointment. This helps in reducing swelling and sensitivity.

Ask your nail technician to keep your nails shorter and thinner to reduce stress. Gradually increase the length for more effortless adjustment.

When you get your acrylics done, it’s essential to communicate any sensitivities to your nail technician. This includes weak or thin nails, allergies, or past discomfort with acrylics. Let your technician know that they can modify the application to your specific needs.

It’s important to stay calm during the process. Deep breathing and mindfulness can help reduce uneasiness. Nervous hands and nails may cause more pain.

When you feel any soreness during the application, report it to your technician immediately so they can adjust the pressure and care accordingly.

Proper nail preparation, vetting of the salon, thinner acrylics, and communication can help reduce the risk of pain with new acrylics.

Tips to Relieve Acrylic Nail Pain

tips to get rid of arcylic pain

You can take steps at home if you experience pain, soreness, or discomfort after getting acrylic nails. This will relieve and reduce the symptoms:

  • Give your hands and nails a break by avoiding overdoing. Rest and raise them above heart level to minimize swelling and discomfort.
  • Avoid activities that put extra pressure on nails, such as typing, cleaning, and cooking. Try to avoid activities that apply pressure. 
  • Add ice or a cold pack in a towel and apply it to your nails for 10-15 minutes. This helps reduce swelling and numb pain.
  • OTC drugs such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen) or acetaminophen can help lessen nail pain and swelling.
  • I am applying petroleum jelly to the nail beds and cuticles. It helps to hydrate and heal and reduces discomfort.
  • If your nails are too long and are causing discomfort, carefully trim them and file them gently.
  • It is essential to get medical attention if you experience considerable pain, swelling, discharge, or redness around your nail, as it may specify a possible nail infection.
  • After applying acrylic nails, reducing pressure on the nails is essential. You can do this by using cold treatment, medication, and moisturizing. Seek medical help if you experience any unusual pain.

Acrylic Nail Alternatives

If you experience pain and discomfort with acrylic nails even after taking precautions, try exploring safer alternatives.

Gel manicures: Gel polish is applied like acrylic but only needs a little filling. It cures under UV/LED light. Less filling and no added tips mean less uneasiness.

Silk or fibreglass wraps – These wraps support natural nails without using acrylic. They involve fewer chemicals and cause less damage during application.

Press-on nails: Pre-shaped mock nail tips are adhered to using soft glue or tape. This avoids acrylic chemicals and filing down of natural nails.

Nail strengthening polish: Strengthening polishes infused with calcium, keratin, and vitamins protect natural nails and encourage growth.

Regular manicures: Simple polishing and buffing of natural nails is gentle. Use nail oil and moisturizer daily to nourish nails.

For individuals with high sensitivity to acrylics, using an alternative nail extension or strengthening method can lessen the risk of pain associated with acrylics. Consult your manicurist to agree on the best options for your nails.


When you get acrylic nail enhancements, it is ordinary to experience pain and discomfort during the application process and in the following days. This is because the filing process, acrylic pressure on nails, and chemical ingredients can lead to sore and tender nails.

However, you can take safety measures such as carefully choosing your nail technician, keeping the acrylics thin, and using pain relief techniques to reduce throbbing and discomfort.

In most cases, acrylic nail settles within subtlety as the nails adapt to the extensions. If considerable pain continues beyond this timeframe, it may point towards an underlying issue like infection or allergy, and you should see a doctor.

Most people can control the uneasiness caused by acrylic nails through proper application and care at home. You can opt for substitute options like press-on nails or gel polish to further lessen discomfort.

With the proper precautions before and after your appointment, acrylic nails can be a fun and long-lasting way to improve the look of your nails.

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