Q&A

Are there any dangers associated with children wearing artificial nails?

Q.

I know two children (ages 8 and 10) whose mother has had acrylic nails placed on them. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have them on such young girls, especially since they are very active. Are there any dangers associated with children wearing artificial nails?

A.

I can think of no valid medical concerns with acrylic nails on kids except for the fact that kids are so rough and active that there could be more risk of trauma. To minimize that risk I would suggest they keep the enhancements as short as possible. Because children’s nails grow a lot faster than adults’ nails, the maintenance will be higher. They’ll require fills and trimming more often. I suspect that the kids will tire of that in short order. But, I would expect no greater risk of infection or allergy in children than in adults. -- Phoebe Rich, M.D., is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Oregon Health & Science University and a member and former president of the Council for Nail Disorders.

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