Getting Gel Nails to Avoid Scratching Eczema
Last updated: February 2020
One of the scariest things about having eczema is continuously growing weapons of destruction naturally through your fingers every day. Because of this, I grew up as a teenager so jealous of my classmates who didn't have eczema and could grow their nails long and get all these beautiful designs and colors painted on them without worry. But, if I ever tried to grow my nails out, it wouldn't be long before they started to slant because of how hard I would scratch my skin. Any nail polish I put on my nails would quickly become cracked and deteriorated within a matter of days.
Gel manicure and eczema
It wasn't until 2016 when I thought to try getting a hard gel polish manicure with sapphire blue and silver sparkles to match my Sailor Mercury cosplay for the then Kraken Con anime convention. Lo and behold it was practically bulletproof! Not only did they hold up for Kraken Con, but they remained perfect and unscathed for at least a full-on month, scratching and all!
Gel nails aren't made for scratching
Also, the thick, smooth polish on the tip of my nails was also so bulletproof that it prevented me from breaking my skin when I scratched or at least lowered that from happening by at least 90%. It made for a very unsatisfying scratch, but it protected my skin from myself which was awesome!
If you're thinking about getting a hard gel polish, here are some things I highly recommend:
Get a good nail technician who is licensed by the state and practices good hygiene because sanitation is especially important for people with eczema and sensitive skin. Being sure of this will help prevent you from getting any possible infections or injuries during your appointment.
Filing the nail down too far
Make sure that the technician does not file too much off the top of your nail before putting on the polish. I noticed that a lot of the cheaper salons do this so that you then become dependent on the polish to have a decently thick enough nail to just even hold a pencil with. You can communicate this with your technician or you can wait to see how they file your first nail and if it starts to seem too thin, then you have every right to speak up and tell him to stop. They don't need to scrape that much off the top to get the polish to hold.
Paint the tip of your nails
To ensure that your polish is going to protect your skin from scratching, make sure that the technician also puts the polish on the tip of your nails and does not file the tip afterward to make it sharp like a normal nail. I used to think this was the standard way of doing gel polish, but there are some more fancy nail salons out there that will file the tip to make it sharp again. And for people who want to be able to peel back stickers easily and other such tasks, this is a nice feature, but if you are using this manicure specifically for skin scratching protection, make sure that polish stays smooth and unfiled.
I hope that you found my story and tips interesting and useful. I would love to hear your thoughts about this and if you've done the same with gel or other types of nail work for skin protection. Please share your thoughts and comments down below!
What type of infection do you deal with most often?