Using Acrylic Nails during Pregnancy: Side Effects & Precautions

Using Acrylic Nails During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Women take pride in their long beautiful nails, don’t you ladies? This is because well-kept nails are the first things to be noticed in one’s appearance. Did you know, that in today’s times, it is even possible to accentuate your nails with the help of acrylic nail extensions? Yes, you read that right! However, when you are pregnant, you should do your research and think twice before getting these nails. Because different things have their own sets of benefits and risks. First, you should find out if it is safe to get acrylic nails while pregnant. Read this article to know if you can use acrylic nails during pregnancy or not.

What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are fake nails that you can easily stick on your original nails to enhance the length of your nails aesthetically. These nails are made using some powder and liquid. Many nail salons or your regular parlours can offer these at affordable rates.

Can You Get Acrylic Nails During Pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, your smallest decisions are also made with care and caution, and the same applies to the use of acrylic nails in pregnancy.  There is no harm in using acrylic nails while you’re pregnant, but it is recommended that you exercise caution when you stick these fake nails.

Complications and Side Effects of Using Acrylic Nails During Pregnancy

Acrylic Nails During Pregnancy

There has been no scientific research available that says using acrylic nails may result in complications during pregnancy. However, a few speculations are doing the rounds and here are some acrylic nail pregnancy risks that you should know of:

  • Acrylic nails are artificially attached to the surface of your original nails and thus may increase your chances of having fungal or bacterial infections.
  • The ingredients that are used for making these nail extensions may pose a threat to your unborn baby. It may lead to a learning disability or developmental delays in your child.
  • You may even get exposed to higher levels of acetone while getting these extensions, which is associated with an increased risk of abortions or miscarriages.

Ways to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home While Pregnant

There are two safe ways of removing acrylic nails while pregnant. Read on to know these in case you decide to go ahead with acrylic nails.

1. Using Acetone

  • Soak small cotton balls in a little acetone and place them on each of the fingernails. Wait for 20-30 minutes and watch as the acetone slowly dissolves the acrylic. Be careful while handling acetone especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Use pincers to carefully remove the cotton balls. If there’s still nail glue left on the nails, dip some toothpicks in acetone and scrape them off. Repeat this process till all the nail glue has come off.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with water and handwash or soap to remove any residue. Moisturise with a hand lotion, cream, or a cuticle oil.

2. Using Dental Floss

  • Apply a cuticle remover on the nails.
  • Using a cuticle pusher dipped in nail polish remover, gently massage the cuticle. This helps soften the nail plate for easy removal of the acrylic nail.
  • Use a toothpick to gently pull off a corner of the acrylic nail from the base until you see a tiny glue strip sticking out.
  • Move it back and forth while gently pulling upwards, until the glued area separates from under the acrylic nail.
  • Finish the process by applying cuticle oil.

Essential Tips and Precautions

Whatever you eat or drink may directly or indirectly affect your unborn baby. Therefore, when you plan to get acrylic nail extensions during pregnancy, keep the following tips and precautions in mind to minimise the risk:

  • Whenever you plan to get artificial nails, make sure that you sit in a well-ventilated room to avoid inhalation of any dangerous fumes.
  • Opt for a good salon which uses high-quality, safe products rather than using any cheap imitations, which may prove harmful to you and your baby.
  • You may check with your salon if they have EMA or ethyl-methacrylate as this may be a safer option in comparison to other solutions.
  • Do not inhale the harmful fumes that usually form during the procedure. These fumes can be dangerous for your baby’s health.
  • Sometimes the chemicals used in the salons may cause severe allergic reactions, and you certainly cannot afford that. You should call up and discuss their products to rule out any possibility of the products that can cause an allergic reaction and that you would like to avoid.
  • If you are thinking of getting acrylic nails, it might be a good idea to avoid getting them in the first three months of your pregnancy.
  • Maintain hygiene as far as cleaning these false nails is concerned. Failure to do so may lead to fungal or bacterial infection.
  • After the procedure of nail fixing is done, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly to let go of any residual chemicals that may be present on your skin or nails.
  • Refrain from getting fake nails while pregnant, as it may lead to excessive exposure to chemicals used in acrylic manicures in pregnancy.
  • Wear a face mask to avoid harmful fumes or take frequent breaks to get some fresh air.
  • Book for a morning appointment as your nail parlor may have lesser harmful fumes as compared to a session later in the day.


1. Can Acrylic Nails Lead to Birth Defects in Your Baby?

Although the process of acrylic nail application exposes pregnant women to chemicals, it does not affect the fetus. There is no evidence suggesting that acrylic nails may harm the developing baby.  

2. Is It Safe to Use UV Light for Curing Gel Nails During Pregnancy?

Radiation and UV rays are generally used to cure gel nails. According to the FDA, exposure to these rays is the least and isn’t of much concern to a pregnant woman. But, the significant chemical in the UV light-cured gel nails is methacrylate monomers (MMA). This particular chemical is not deemed safe for an expecting mother. So, it is recommended to avoid gel nails as far as possible during pregnancy.

3. How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost?

A full set of acrylic nails costs anywhere between $30 and $35.

Looking pretty and dainty is what a lot of women want, and we totally understand it. However, now that you’ve read about acrylic nails and pregnancy, why do you want to undergo any kind of dubious process that may or may not have any type of ill effects on your unborn baby? We suggest that if you can wait, then postpone the process of applying acrylic nails when pregnant.


1. Health Hazards in Nail Salons; U.S. Department of Labour: Occupational Safety and Health Administration;

2. How to Safely Use Nail Care Products; U.S. Food &  Drug Administration;

3. Volatile Organic Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality; United States Environmental Protection Agency;

4. Taking care of your chemical health and safety in nail bars and salons; Health and Safety Authority;

5. Epoxies and Resins – Reproductive Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

6. Formaldehyde – Reproductive Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

7. Artificial Nails: Dermatologists’ Tips for Reducing Nail Damage; American Academy of Dermatology Association;

8. Working in a Nail Salon; National Center for Biotechnology Information;; October 2021

Also Read:

Hair Care in Pregnancy
Wearing Make up during Pregnancy
How Safe is Nail Polish during Pregnancy?

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