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Artificial nails are commonly used worldwide for cosmetic nail enhancement. Chittenden County, Vermont has 20 operating salons that offer acrylic nail procedures. Common procedures for the administration of acrylic nails include self-curing sculptured nails and light-cured nail lacquer, also known as “gel” nails. Both methods employ binding agents that utilize acrylic monomers or polymers. These acrylates are a frequent cause of allergic contact dermatitis in both manicurists and clients. A distinct presentation of allergic contact dermatitis to nail lacquer has been recently recognized in the community. It involves the sudden onset of painful nails and lack of associated eczematous changes. There are currently two reported cases in the literature which also describe onycholysis and subungual hyperkeratosis without surrounding dermatitis, and two reported cases recognized by dermatologists in Chittenden County. This project aims to identify offending acrylic chemicals in the community and educate primary care providers about this specific allergic presentation that can masquerade as onychomycosis or nail psoriasis.

Clinical Site

Richmond, VT


acrylic nails, allergy, dermatitis, onycholysis, Vermont

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Medical Education | Primary Care

Acrylate Allergy to Fake Nails: Unique Presentations of Onchodystrophy and Subungual Hyperkeratosis