Are Acrylic Nails Safe When Pregnant -Debate For & Against - Easy Nail Tech (2023)

Are Acrylic Nails Safe When Pregnant -Debate For & Against - Easy Nail Tech (1)

Acrylic nails are well known for using a lot of strong chemicals with intense odors during the application process.

This is why many individuals wonder if acrylic nails are safe to get when pregnant or breastfeeding. That’s why in this article we are going to be answering:

  • Can You Get Acrylic Nails Done When Pregnant or Breastfeeding
  • What are the Arguments against getting acrylic nails when pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • And Some Easy Tips to make acrylic nails safer during pregnancy or breastfeeding

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Can You Get Acrylic Nails Done When Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Now it’s important to note that as of writing this article on February 2023 there have been no studies done to show the effects of getting acrylic nails when pregnant or breastfeeding to either confirm or deny if it’s safe.

But most experts agree that once proper procedures are followed and good quality products are used you can safely get acrylic nails when pregnant or breastfeeding. Citation.

Now there is a study that has shown that some of the chemicals used during acrylic application in very large quantities can increase the chances of miscarriages, deformities, and other pregnancy issues. But this has been shown to occur when women were exposed to extremely large quantities which are not typical in a salon environment.

I personally don’t recommend acrylic nails to my pregnant clients because of the many unknowns and also they are so many safer options available, keep reading to learn more.

One of the best types of manicures is Press-on Nails. When applied using nail tabs, press-on nails are probably the safest nail extension manicure for pregnant women. You can click here to learn more.

Arguments For Acrylic Nails

1- Not much exposure to chemicals

Most experts and nail techs will tell you that most of the chemicals used during the acrylic application won’t be absorbed into the bloodstream to affect the mother or child.

And if any do get absorbed it will be in very negligible amounts.

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This is the main reason why a lot of nail techs and other experts are ok with pregnant and breastfeeding women getting acrylic nails and are not deterred from getting them.

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2- No Evidence to Show any Dangers

There has been no evidence to show that acrylic nails, once proper precautions are taken and safe products are used, can affect you or the child when pregnant or breastfeeding

Also, a lot of nail techs will be quick to point out that pregnant women all over the world get acrylic nails every day and there haven’t been any significant reports of it causing any major health side effects.

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3- Can Take Precautions to Reduce Risks

Now you can take precautions to reduce any possible effects that acrylic nails can have on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Gonna share some easy tips you can do at the end of the article, so keep on reading.

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Arguments Against Getting Acrylic Nails When Pregnant or Breastfeeding

1- Chemicals used in Acrylic Application May Pose a Risk

No official studies have been done to show chemicals in Acrylic Applications are totally safe for women that are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The argument that acrylic is safe for pregnant women most experts would put forward is that these chemicals, like the monomer, acetone, and primer, are usually used in small amounts, and little if any would be absorbed into the body.

But a lot of times when actual health studies are done they can find things that were once considered safe actually pose a risk.

One such case is with UV nail lamps which were once considered very safe but now studies have shown actually can increase the chances of getting skin cancer. Citation.

You can click here to read my tips on How to Protect Your Hands from UV Nail Lamps.

(Video) Doctors warn of gel manicure dangers

2- Some Salons use unsafe Acrylic Products

Low-quality acrylic products can contain a chemical called Methyl Methacrylate or MMA usually found in the acrylic liquid.

Now the health risks of MMA acrylic products are extremely bad even in individuals who are not pregnant. Since it can cause: light-headedness, trembling of hands, rashes and so much more. Citation.

The effects of MMA acrylic products on pregnant women will be more likely and more intense due to them being more sensitive and vulnerable.

MMA products are banned in some countries and states but some salons still use them because they tend to be cheaper.

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3- Strong Odor Can Cause Nausea

Now if you have ever gotten acrylic nails then you will know that it has a strong odor. This is usually from the acrylic liquid which is the monomer.

This strong odor from the acrylic liquid can cause nausea to pregnant women especially in the first trimester when they are the most sensitive to strong odors. Citation.

Additionally, acetone which is used in large quantities during the removal of acrylic nails has a distinct odor that can be unpleasant for pregnant women.

Related Article – 7 Tips to Quickly Heal Damaged Nails After Acrylic Or Gel

4- Higher Risk of Nail Infections

When you get a manicure such as acrylic or gel nails, you tend to be at a higher risk of nail infections.

This is either from unclean nail tools or products or from bacteria buildup under the acrylic nails if they start to lift.

Any type of infection is not good when pregnant since your body tends to be more vulnerable and weak.

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5- Safer Alternatives

They are so many other safer types of manicures that you can get when pregnant, that are safer and use less harsh and strong chemicals.

I recommend to women who are pregnant and breastfeeding and who don’t what to get acrylic or gel nails but still want extensions to get Press on Nails and use nail tabs to glue them on, click here to learn more.

You can also click here to learn more about

Tips to Make Acrylic Nails Safer For Women that are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

1- Avoid Using Products with MMA

You need to read labels and ask your nail tech if their liquid monomer contains Methyl Methacrylate also known as MMA.

Instead, you should use products that contain ethyl methacrylate (EMA) which is generally considered safer to use.

MMA products tend to be cheaper and have a strong pungent scent when compared to EMA.

2- Wear Masks

I recommend anyone getting acrylic nails done, to wear a mask during the application and removal process.

A mask will prevent you from inhaling fumes from the liquid monomer or acetone and dust when removing the nails.

3- Ensure the Salon is well Ventilated

Along with wearing a mask, I recommend going to a salon that is well-ventilated. A good salon should have vents to constantly pull stale air in and pump out fresh air.

This will prevent a buildup of chemicals such as acetone and monomer which can then easily be absorbed.

4- Avoid Using too Many Harsh Chemicals

Products like nail primers and dehydrators are used to make the acrylic adhere better to your nails. But when you are pregnant you need to try to avoid getting exposed to potentially harsh chemicals.

This is why you can tell your nail tech not to use any nail primer or dehydrator instead they can clean your nails with rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol won’t be as effective as a nail primer so your acrylic nails might be prone to lifting but it’s best to be on the safer side when pregnant.

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You can also click here to read my How to DIY Nail Primers and Dehydrators.

5- Avoid Cutting Cuticles

Cutting your cuticles puts you at a much higher risk of developing an infection. So pregnant or not you should tell your nail tech to push back your cuticles and not cut them.

You can click here to read more about why it’s a bad idea to cut your cuticles and what to do instead.

6- Only go to Qualified and Skilled Nail Technicians

Skilled and experienced nail techs will know what they are doing and not use too much acrylic liquid when making acrylic beads. This reduces how much you are exposed to.

A good nail tech will also ensure that all of their tools such as brushes and cuticle pushers are sterilized which reduces the chances of getting a nail infection.

Is it bad to smell acrylic while pregnant?

Yes, it’s very bad to smell acrylic fumes when pregnant or not pregnant. It can make you feel nauseated and can cause other severe health risks.

Can Acrylic fumes cause a miscarriage?

Inhaling a lot of acrylic fumes in large amounts can pose a risk. This means you should avoid being exposed to it either when pregnant or not pregnant. Citation.

This is why I always wear a mask and try to keep the room well-ventilated when dealing when acrylic nails and I recommend to all my clients to do the same both pregnant and non-pregnant ones.


Is it safe to get acrylic nails while pregnant?

Is it safe to get a manicure or pedicure while pregnant?

What to know about getting your nails done during pregnancy

Researching Risk of Birth Defects Among Pregnant Nail Salon Workers and Hairdressers

(Video) Why I STOPPED getting Gel Nails


Is it safe to work with acrylic nails while pregnant? ›

It's fine to have acrylic nails applied during pregnancy, as long as the room is well-ventilated with open windows or air conditioning. Acrylic nails give off fumes as they are being applied.

Is it safe to get my nails done while pregnant? ›

Some people wonder if you can get your nails done during pregnancy since polishes and polish removers contain many chemicals. Most experts agree that manicures and pedicures are safe during pregnancy. If you go to a professional salon with good safety standards, you can enjoy some pampering while you're expecting.

Can acrylic nails harm my baby? ›

As for acrylics and gel treatments, their chemicals have not been found to be harmful to you or your baby. However, acrylic nail treatments can give off a strong smell that you may find irritating, and there may be a higher risk of infection with this treatment.

Can you have acrylic nails as a ultrasound technician? ›

The ultrasound student will have to cover up the tattoos while at the clinical site. Fingernails should be kept short (e.g. the length of the finger pad) and clean and artificial fingernails should not be worn.

Is UV light for nails safe when pregnant? ›

UV Exposure

Keep in mind that pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive, so you might want to skip the UV-curing altogether and choose a UV-free gel manicure, or another type of polish.

Can I get my nails done while pregnant if I wear a mask? ›

Anyone concerned about potential risks might wash their hands thoroughly after the treatment, wear a mask during it, and bring or ask for products without certain chemicals. If a person has any questions or concerns about their safety during pregnancy, they should contact a healthcare professional.

What trimester can you get your nails done? ›

Chemicals are involved in both processes, so you might feel more comfortable waiting until the second trimester for these beauty treatments. If you're still worried about the safety of getting your nails done while pregnant, ask your doctor for additional advice.

Are the fumes from acrylic nails harmful? ›

Acrylic fumes can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and irritation. The filing of artificial nails can cause asthma. Nail services create dust that can cause wheezing and chest tightness. Formaldehyde can be found in nail strengtheners.

What u should not do when pregnant? ›

Pregnancy Don'ts
  • Don't smoke. ...
  • Don't drink alcohol. ...
  • Don't eat raw meat. ...
  • Don't eat deli meat. ...
  • Don't eat unpasteurized milk products. ...
  • Don't sit in a hot tub or sauna. ...
  • Don't drink a lot of caffeine. ...
  • Don't clean the cat's litter box.

Can getting my nails done affect my baby? ›

But there's no evidence that the brief exposure involved in a manicure is harmful to you or your baby. Very little of each chemical enters through your lungs or is absorbed through your nails and skin. These small levels of exposure are not expected to cause problems for your pregnancy or baby.

Is it safe to use acetone when pregnant? ›

As with all chemicals, unnecessary exposure to acetone in pregnancy should be avoided. However, where occupational exposure is unavoidable, precautions should be taken to ensure that exposure is well within the recommended exposure limits and not associated with toxic symptoms.

Can pregnant woman do gel nails? ›

It is safe to have gel nails while you're pregnant, so long as you're careful about having them applied and removed. Bear in mind that if you're booked in for a planned caesarean section, your doctor or midwife will ask you to remove gel nails in advance.

Do hospitals allow acrylic nails? ›

The WHO guidelines prohibit artificial nails and extenders for all healthcare workers.

Can care workers have acrylic nails? ›

If you provide personal care or work closely with clients, or if there is a possibility you may have to provide personal care or work closely with clients, fingernails must be kept short, no longer than the end of the fingers. They must be clean and free from polish. False nails of any kind must not be worn.

Why are acrylic nails not allowed in many healthcare settings? ›

Healthcare workers who wear artificial nails are more likely to harbor gram-negative pathogens on their fingertips than are those who have natural nails, both before and after handwashing. Therefore, artificial nails should not be worn when having direct contact with high risk patients.

Can you dye your hair when pregnant? ›

Most research, although limited, shows it's safe to colour your hair while pregnant. Some studies have found that very high doses of the chemicals in hair dyes may cause harm. However, these doses are massive compared with the very low amount of chemicals you may be exposed to when colouring your hair.

Can I dye my hair while pregnant? ›

Good news: getting your hair dyed while pregnant is considered safe, especially in the second and third trimesters. Since most hair dyes have little contact with your scalp, the chance of any chemicals reaching your bloodstream, and therefore your baby, is low.

Can the smell of acrylic harm a newborn baby? ›

There is no risk to a baby or an adult in a Nail salon. The smell is caused by the liquid used for acrylics evaporating, it is a tiny amount of vapour in the air. There is no risk to pregnant women either. Some Nail Techs wear a mask to protect themselves from dust particles.

What pressure points should be avoided during pregnancy? ›

Although there is no consensus on the full spectrum of forbidden points,3 those most frequently cited as contraindicated throughout pregnancy (at least before 37 weeks) are SP6, LI4, BL60, BL67, GB21, LU7, and points in the lower abdomen (eg, CV3–CV7) and sacral region (eg, BL27–34).

Can I get my lashes done while pregnant? ›

In and of themselves, lash extensions will cause no harm during pregnancy, however the potential risks associated with the application process - such as fumes from your lash adhesive, the position of the client and the potential of an allergic reaction - are worth taking into account.

How careful should I be with acrylic nails? ›

Treat your acrylics gently

Avoid—at all cost—using your nails to open cans or pry things open, lift anything heavy, breakthrough tapes, etc. You really have to take this advice seriously. This is because doing so not only increases your risk of breaking the acrylic, it can also damage the underlying nail.

Do I have to be careful with acrylic nails? ›

If you want to wear artificial nails for more than a few weeks, you'll need touch-ups every 2 to 3 weeks to fill in the gaps that appear as your nails grow. Frequent touch-ups can seriously damage your natural nails. In short, artificial nails can leave your nails thin, brittle, and parched.

What are the dangers of being a nail technician? ›

Nail salon workers can be exposed to biological hazards if they come into contact with infected skin, nails, or blood from a co-worker or client. Diseases that can result from exposure to infected blood include hepatitis and AIDS. Nail salon workers can also get fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, from clients.

What are 3 things to avoid while pregnant? ›

However, limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces (168 grams) a week.
  • Avoid raw, undercooked or contaminated seafood. To avoid harmful bacteria or viruses in seafood:
  • Avoid undercooked meat, poultry and eggs. ...
  • Avoid unpasteurized foods. ...
  • Avoid excess caffeine.

What should I avoid during my first trimester? ›

Don't eat raw meat.

Pregnant people who eat raw or undercooked meat and eggs are at risk of contracting listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. These can lead to serious and life-threatening illnesses and can cause severe birth defects and miscarriage. Cook your meat and eggs thoroughly before eating.

What not to do during pregnancy 1st trimester? ›

These things should be avoided during the first trimester:
  • strenuous exercise or strength training that could cause an injury to your stomach.
  • alcohol.
  • caffeine (no more than one cup of coffee or tea per day)
  • smoking.
  • illegal drugs.
  • raw fish or smoked seafood (no sushi)

Is dip powder considered artificial nails? ›

Dip powder nails and gel nails are both types of artificial nails that can be used to enhance the appearance of natural nails. They are both applied over the natural nail and require a curing process to harden and set.

Why should artificial nails be avoided? ›

However, artificial nails may harbor organisms and prevent effective handwashing. Higher number of gram negative microorganisms have been cultured from the fingertips of personnel wearing artificial nails than from personnel with natural nails, both before and after handwashing.

Are nails allowed in nursing? ›

Can I wear nail polish whilst working in healthcare? Artificial, painted and chipped nails should not be worn in clinical areas as they can harbour microorganisms and are linked with outbreaks of infections.

Do acrylic nails carry bacteria? ›

Background: Acrylic nails harbor more bacteria than natural nails, and wear is not recommended for health care workers (HCWs).

Are acrylic nails false nails? ›

Acrylics and Gels are fake nails placed over your natural ones. Both can be made to match the shape of the nail, or to extend it. So, when you want longer nails, you are asking for either Acrylic or Gel extensions.

Are fake nails a health code violation? ›

The FDA Food Code regulations about food handlers' fingernails also include the prohibition of artificial nails and all nail art. Therefore, any nail products including gel, acrylics, and all forms of artificial nails or extensions would be banned.

What's healthier than acrylic nails? ›

Gel Nail Extensions: Similar to acrylics, but without any of the toxic methyl methacrylate, gel extensions are a solid alternative. You can pick from a variety of shapes like square, round, or stiletto, and your manicurist will use a small amount of gel to secure the extension to your own nail.

How many times can you wear acrylic nails? ›

Acrylic can be worn for a long period of time as long as you get infills every 2-3 weeks. “I'd suggest a complete soak-off every three months so that natural nails can breathe,” says Sherrille. "Your natural nails can also be treated to a course of repairing IBX treatments," she adds.

Will my surgery be Cancelled if I have acrylic nails? ›

Can I wear acrylic nails or nail polish into surgery? During surgery, your oxygen levels will be monitored and one of the most common ways of doing this is using a probe placed on your finger. Nail polish and acrylic nails can interfere with this, so you may be asked to remove the polish or acrylics before you arrive.

Are the fumes in a nail salon harmful when pregnant? ›

Information from animal studies about many chemicals found in nail salons does not suggest exposure will increase the chance for a birth defect. A small number of studies that looked at the pregnancies of nail salon workers has not found an increased chance for birth defects.

Can you be around nail fumes while pregnant? ›

First, the fumes in a nail salon might make you feel sick in your first trimester, so it's probably better to wait until later down the line. Plus, those fumes might contain organic solvents, which have been linked with birth defects in babies of mothers exposed during pregnancy (Khattak et al, 1999).

Can I soak my nails in acetone if pregnant? ›

The small amount of acetone that is expected to be absorbed by the skin or lungs when it is used to remove nail polish is small and not expected to cause an increased chance of problems for your pregnancy or breastfed baby.

Can I dye my hair when pregnant? ›

Most research, although limited, shows it's safe to colour your hair while pregnant. Some studies have found that very high doses of the chemicals in hair dyes may cause harm. However, these doses are massive compared with the very low amount of chemicals you may be exposed to when colouring your hair.


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