Q&A

Should I not put acrylic nails on young people?

Q.

Should I not put acrylic nails on young people?

A.

One of my clients wants me to do her 10-year-old daughter’s nails, but I think she is too young. Does the nail have a different composition when we are younger? Should I not put acrylic nails on young people?

I see no problem applying nail polish on someone this young, but I would certainly avoid any mechanical manipulations with metal or wooden implements in the cuticle/proximal nail fold area. This is where the nail matrix is located and mechanical manipulations at that site could injure the nail matrix and subsequently injure the nail. The composition of the nails in young people is the same as in adults, except that in children the water content of the nails is higher, causing them to be softer and more flexible; therefore, their nails are less brittle and dry and much less likely to break, split, peel, and fray at the edges. I would not recommend applying acrylic nails on young people because it may cause an allergic reaction, although it is not likely that it would cause a fungal infection if the acrylic was kept on for only a few days. Removing acrylic nails from a child can be traumatic, so I would recommend against applying them.

 

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