What Are Nail Gel Treatments?

gel nail

Gel manicures are said to be durable and lasting for 2 weeks without chipping.  They are said to provide the long wear of the acrylic manicure without the nail damage.  The gel manicure has become very popular over the past few years.

Gel manicures look lovely.  Unfortunately, they do have some drawbacks.

Once applied the gel polish needs to be cured by drying under an ultra violet or UV light between each coat and at the end.  Exposure to too much UV light may be a risk factor for skin cancer or the rays may cause some cosmetic changes in the skin around the nail.

The only way to remove the gel manicure is by using acetone to remove the polish.  Acetone can irritate skin and dry nails.  After the gel on the nail has been soaked with the acetone and softened it is then scrapped off which may cause some damage to the nail.

When removing the gel try to soak only the nail itself avoiding exposing the skin to the chemical as much as possible.

If you are only getting a gel manicure once in awhile for a special occasion you may not have any problems.  It is those who regularly have gel manicures that may have unpleasant consequences.


You want to have your gel manicure done in a reputable salon with a technician who is experienced in applying a gel manicure.  You do not want your cuticles pushed as this will make the skin more sensitive and increase the risk of infection.

There have recently been some gel polishes available over the counter for home applications.  These can have the same problems as the gel polishes applied at a salon.

To help avoid nail brittleness, chipping and thinning apply a moisturizing product to your nails several times each day.

For  your nail’s health the better manicure is probably one using traditional nail polish.  Keeping your nails covered constantly with any type polish prevents you from seeing what is happening under the polish.

For those who really want the beauty of the gel manicure with less risks there is a new procedure using a hybrid between the traditional manicure and the gel manicure called Shellac.  This product is only available in salons and does not require as much acetone for removal as the gel polish.