You love your acrylic nails and make regular visits to visit your favorite technician at your local nail salon. They might be high maintenance, but they make you feel more glamorous!
However, accidents happen, and you’re now faced with the unspeakable. You can’t help but wince in pain whenever you think of what has just occurred. Yeah, that’s right, your acrylic nail ripped off your real nail. Ouch!
A woman in Scotland, who accidentally sat on her hand and ripped off an acrylic nail, taking her real nail with it, went viral in September 2019. She was quoted as saying the pain was “worse than childbirth”.
Billie Eilish also famously ripped off one of her neon lime green talons around the same time.
We’ve put this guide together to explain what to do when your acrylic nail rips off your real nail.
Acrylic Nail Ripped Off Your Real Nail
There are many things that could cause an acrylic nail to rip off the real nail. Besides the examples mentioned above, perhaps you were trying to remove the acrylic nail too forcefully.
There is a particular way to remove your acrylic nails without causing severe damage to your natural nails, so care needs to be taken.
See our articles on acrylic nail removal the right way:
- How To Remove Acrylic Nails Without Acetone
- How To Take Off Acrylic Nails With Hot Water
- How To Take Off Acrylic Nails With Vinegar
If you’ve been using acrylic nails for a while, then your natural nail bed will have accumulated some damage from the gluing process (please don’t tell us you used Krazy glue!!).
This is because glue strips off the top layers, which consist of keratin, when you get them removed. Your nails need time to rejuvenate themselves, and the constant wear and tear of keratin stripping will see them get weaker.
Perhaps your acrylic nails weren’t applied correctly in the first place. Pockets of space left between the nail and acrylic can increase the chance of fungus or bacteria entering the space, which can cause real damage to the nail.
If this happened at a salon, go back and visit to explain what happened so that you can come to a mutual agreement on what to focus on next — regaining the health of your nail back.
If it was the glue used by the nail technician, which may have been super strength, then this can make your acrylics more prone to stress and cracking if hit and can really damage the nail bed.
Furthermore, if you like embellishing your acrylics, this can lead to what’s called snagging. A nail snag occurs when it has been dragged, caught, snapped (like if you sit on it), gets caught in something or is dragged across a surface.
And if your nails have been filed aggressively, this can cause excessive thinning of the nail bed, so a strong glue can rip the acrylic right off… and the nail with it.
What To Do When Your Acrylic Nail Rips Off Your Real Nail
Now that you have a better idea why your acrylic nail pulled away from your nail bed, the following are some of the common challenges you will now have to face:
The first thing you would have noticed was the excruciating pain as your acrylic ripped away from the nail bed. Unless you have a high pain threshold, it will probably be pretty intense. As mentioned before, one woman said it was “worse than childbirth”.
There’s going to be blood, so if you’re squeamish, then get someone who’s not to help you.
You’re going to have to clean and disinfect the nail bed to prevent extensive pus from accumulating as the wound heals. Continue reading below to find out the best way to do this, or simply get to a clinic for professional help.
3. Reduced Mobility
Just like any part of the body that has suffered a blunt trauma, the bruising and swelling that occurs is your immune system’s way of beginning the healing process. However, the inflammation will inhibit your mobility.
You’ll also want to steer clear of any further damage to your finger, so avoid doing things like typing and cooking, and even washing it to make sure you keep the wound clean.
You may even want to splint the finger with the damaged nail to one next to it to relieve the pressure of mobility.
4. Stop The Pain
Your nail is gone, leaving the raw skin exposed. Your next step is to clean it with soap and water, then disinfect it with hydrogen peroxide or colloidal silver. These solutions will hurt the least as you clean what is now an open wound.
You can also use a saltwater solution, but this will have you screaming from the sting.
Next use some ice cubes to place on the wound to reduce swelling. You might also want to have some painkillers while the ice causes throbbing to start, which is a sign that the healing process has begun.
Using a waterproof bandaid will be essential to keep the wound as dry as possible to prevent fungal and bacterial growth. Hansaplast Silverhealing Washproof Bandages have pads that contain silver ions. These are released as your nail heals.
Silver is known traditionally to kill germs and reduce the possibility of infection. You can also spritz the wound with colloidal silver and cover it with a normal waterproof bandage.
If Your Nail Ripped off With the Acrylic Attached, Will It Regrow?
Finally, keeping an eye out for the progress of your nail’s healing is essential. With the right care, your nail should grow back healthy within a few months.
However, if you don’t notice any improvement after a couple of days, it gets worse or after a while you’ve noticed that the nail isn’t growing back, then it’s time to visit a doctor who can treat it.
As your new nail grows in, it may look bumpy or irregular to start but should look normal as time goes on. The average time for it to grow back fully is usually two months. But it can take longer, so patience is needed.
And don’t even think about applying an acrylic nail to the skin as your natural nail grows back!
You already had one acrylic nail rip off a real nail — you don’t want it to happen again. So give your nails a chance to breathe and rest for now to safeguard their overall health.
An Ounce of Prevention
It’s better to treat your acrylics with care so that nail damage doesn’t happen. As we mentioned above, don’t use glue that is not designed for acrylic nails. Superglue, Krazy glue, etc. are not safe for nails, end of story.