Remedies for Nail Pain After Removing Acrylic Nails?

March 3, 2010

sore nailsI just had my acrylic nails taken off and my nails are so sore. Its seems like when they filed my nails they took too much off. I can't do anything because they are so painful and sore. Can anyone recommend anything for me to use? Thank you.


By chantelle from Nottingham


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March 7, 20105 found this helpful
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Actually, nails don't breathe. Your nails have been sanded down so thin that the nerves under them are sensitive. If you apply several coats of "Hard as Nails" polish it will reduce the sensitivity until the whole nail grows back again.

March 7, 20102 found this helpful
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Had the same problem. Sounds funny, but go to a place where they sell horse supplies. Buy the product used to groom horses' hooves. In the U.S. it's called "Hoof Maker". Rub a small amount on your nails several times a day.


It conditions your nails, makes them stronger, and will actually soften your cuticles as a bonus! I noticed a change within a week and the pain subsided. Good luck!

May 18, 20104 found this helpful
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I just had the same thing happen and it was so painful. I put about ten layers of clear nail polish on. It creates a barrier. I also tried some nail strengthener and it wasn't as good. Don't put colored polish on. That weakens the nails and makes them catch on things and rip. I also keep a nail file with me so if anything starts to rip I file it right away before it gets worse. I can't believe how well the clear polish works. I sit in front of the TV and put more on every few minutes. Sometimes I put on some sparkles too just to pretty them up. Hope it helps!

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12 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

March 2, 2018

I get my nails done a lot, more than I should. I finally took off my acrylics and my natural nails are super thin, it's so bad and it's so painful too. I don't know what to do. I just know I'm not getting acrylics for a long time. How do can I make my natural nails stronger?


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March 2, 20180 found this helpful
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It will take time, but most people who have had the same issues as yours went and had a gel manicure done on their nails a week after the acrylic ones were removed. The gel manicure can help to build up the strength in your nails and stop them from breaking and hurting.


You can also get a few products to put on your nails This is an excellent one and it will help your nails. Essentials SolarOil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner


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March 3, 20182 found this helpful
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I remember that pain! I hated it so much, and I'm sorry you're going through with it. My best remedy was cutting them short so they wouldn't bend back on anything. Keep them trimmed until they grow back as thick as they naturally should be.

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October 21, 2019

Today I removed my UV gels after having them on for two years. Oh my gosh the pain in unreal. I don't know what to do. Does anyone know what I could do to stop the pain and make my nails stronger? The pain feels like someone broke all my fingers and set my nails on fire.

My nails are actually all red as well waaah! I will never put anything one my nails again besides regular polish once this heals.


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October 22, 20190 found this helpful
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This is very common when people go to a shop to have their nails done and they choose to do this. There are shops that recommend that you take off the nails every few months to allow your nails under to breath and be healthy. The only thing you can do now to help your nails is good some good oil for nails and keep applying this to the nails.


You can take some vitiams for nails to help make them stronger again. This pain will last a few days or up to a few weeks until your nails start to grow out again on their own. You should keep them trimmed very short and try to avoid getting them too wet so they can heal.


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October 25, 20190 found this helpful
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You may need to see a doctor but for right now until that happens you can heat a cup or two of white or apple cider vinegar and soak your nails for several hours if possible.
Warm the vinegar in a micro-safe bowl - test it and do not use it too hot (test it like a baby's milk - a drop or two on your wrist) as your nails will be very tender but you can rewarm the vinegar several times (unless it looks dirty) and probably be able to stand it hotter each time.


Sit in a chair with the bowl in your lap and use a towel under the bowl (an extra towel in case you have an accident and spill the vinegar) and leave nails soaking until water is cold; then reheat and do the same again. Repeat this several times and over the weekend. I believe your nails will be better and the pain will be greatly diminished.
Just remember to use the water as hot as you can without yelling as heat and vinegar work wonders on drawing out infection.

You may wish to apply some sort of antibiotic ointment overnight (OTC ointment is good). Some may stain your sheets so check this out.

If you normally take some sort of OTC pain killer you might want to try some of this for a couple of days. Ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol are all good if you normally take these without problems. Be sure to take as directed.

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March 18, 2021

I just took of my store bought fake nails and they are burning. I have washed them, taken them off, put them in ice for 3 hours and they still burn just as bad. If anyone can help, please do:)


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March 18, 20210 found this helpful
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Soak your nails in a solution of 1 cup Epsom Salt in 2-3 cups hot water. Dissolve the Epsom Salt in the hot water - wait until water cools enough for you to place hands in water. It may be difficult to put hands/nails in even warm water but keep reheating water until you can take some heat.


Soak your nails for 15-20 minutes; wait an hour or so and soak nails again. You can add a little water and reuse the same solution.
Water needs to be as hot as you can stand - keep dipping fingers in and out until you can submerge them. Epsom Salt will draw out any infection and relieve the pain.
You need to see a pharmacist to get advice on what type of medication to use or you will need to go to the doctor.
If nails do not improve - go to your clinic for help.


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March 21, 20210 found this helpful
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One of my daughters had a similar issue and the emergency room had her soak her nails in cold milk, and take benadryl.

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January 3, 2020

I've had fake nails on for about 5 days. I was washing up and my finger went slightly backwards and caused me pain. I ended up taking the nails off to find out I could see veins in my fingertips.

I'm really worried and I'm not sure whether to see a doctor or not?


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January 3, 20200 found this helpful
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It sounds like you had an allergic reaction to the material in the mails that caused this problem. I would go to see a doctor, maybe you need something for this so they do not get infected.


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January 4, 20200 found this helpful
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Since this is the weekend and doctors are difficult to see perhaps you could go to your pharmacy and ask the pharmacist what you can do right now until you can see a doctor.
A pharmacist is very knowledgeable person (most people have no idea how long a pharmacist attends school to obtain a license/degree - but it is not a short period) so whatever they tell you should be good information.

In the meantime there are several things you can do that will help avoid further infection and relieve any pain.
Soak your fingernails in plain warm/hot water several times a day;
Add any one of the following to the warm/hot water;
Epsom Salt
Regular cooking salt
White or regular vinegar
Baking soda
Tea Tree Oil (few drops)
The hotter the water the better just do not burn yourself.
Amount to add depends on how much water but add a half cup of most but it doesn't matter as you cannot put too much. Use only a few drops of Tea Tree Oil.
Hopefully you will have at least one of these items so you can begin treatment ASAP. Plain hot water will help.

After soaking you can put any kind of antibacterial ointment you may have or Vaseline or Vick's salve; leave on for a few hours and try soaking your nails in fresh hot water before bedtime.

Just in case you are hesitant in asking a pharmacist for help, here is a breakdown of the schooling they must have to obtain a degree:

Three to four years of undergraduate pre-professional (prerequisite) coursework, followed by four academic years in the professional program. Most students need four years to complete their prerequisite courses. Thus, it usually takes eight years of college study to earn a Pharm.D. and become a pharmacist.

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September 5, 2010

I had a full set of acrylic fitted yesterday, the nail person made my cuticles bleed. Today my fingers are really sore, is this normal?

By sue from Lancashire


February 20, 20150 found this helpful
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You said you got bleeding while pushing back cuticles. Acrylic liquid should not applied to the damaged bleeding nails. I suppose your beautician done something very wrong. The products use to apply acrylic nails are very toxic. You better to visit your doctor and stop doing acrylic nails for few days until you recover.

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February 28, 2014

I took off my acrylic nail by biting it off, now my finger is throbbing with a huge pain! What can I do to make the pain go away? Please help.

By Yazmyne


March 2, 20140 found this helpful
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Take a pain med and don't do that again! If it's swollen wrap it in ice. Watch it to make sure it doesn't get infected.

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August 6, 2018

My nails are super thin sore and red after removing acrylic nails. The nails are so soft and are continually breaking.

They feel like as soft as paper. I'm putting Vicks VapoRub on them; will that help?


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August 6, 20180 found this helpful

Cut your nails short. I would put a moisturizing hand and nail cream on them instead of the VapoRub, which can be drying.


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August 6, 20180 found this helpful

Definitely stop the Vicks. Use plain old kitchen vegetable oil and soak your nails in the morning and evening. You can reuse the oil for several days by keeping it in the fridge.

If you are medically able to take supplements..NEVER do so without doctor approval as they can affect medication you may if you get the ok, try one with bioten and/or vitamin E to help build nail strength.

If the issue persists for more than a week, talk to the doctor as you could have a fungal infection or other medical issue happening. Those acrylics are brutal.

I would avoid any nail treatment or products for a long time after you are healed to prevent future issues.


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August 7, 20180 found this helpful

Poeple lose sight of the fact that nails are a living breathing part of your body, vulnerable to illness, infection, as well as a marker for general health. So they go and put a bunch of weird stuff on them without taking into account what's happenign underneath. It is very good of you and for you that you took the time to notice that your nails were suffering as this is a reflection of a suffering of your own health.

Acrylics are incredibly toxic and applying them to your nails puts you at risk of endocrine, kidney, and liver issues. Plus they simply damage the nails which are now in a state of weakness and thus more susceptible to poisons coming from the fake nails. YOur nails are also telling you that the nail beauty regime is affecting your health adversely. The thing to do is to listen to your body on this one and
-halt these nail regimes for a good month. I would just leave them alone but for some reason people can't exist without slathering some colouring or other on their nails, so go with a more healthy, breathable nail polish
these are all breathable and have oils and minerals in them that help them rebuild.
- also try to go for a soy based acetone free nail polish remover (Affiliate Link)
- treat nails with moisturizers like Miracle Cuticle Oil ($20; and Juara Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm ($20; or vitamin E (NOT vaporub)
- improve your diet to support nail growth. Add biotin, omega-3 rich food like eggs, fatty fish and sweet potatoes.


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August 9, 20181 found this helpful

Basically, to get your nails strong again you will need to start adding a conditioner to them. You'll also need to cut them short.

Most people have this same issue after removing the nails and have gone to a shop and had gel added to the nails. The gel polish is a great way to protect your nails and allow them to grow out again. This isn't the same as having acrylic nails, but it is a great solution to repair the damage acrylic nails did.

January 20, 20192 found this helpful

Your health recommendations are good, however the persistent myth that nails breathe needs to be addressed. Nails do not breathe, they are made of keratin the same as hair. Also, the likelihood of poisons leaching out of acrylics through the nail plate and into the bloodstream is minuscule to zero. The salon workers are at risk not the customer - especially the less reputable ones that use MMA.

Weakened nails from acrylics is not a sign that your body is suffering- the acrylics caused the damage. Nails do reflect some health issues and acrylics will cover that, but acrylics do not cause liver issues etc.

February 5, 20191 found this helpful

Stop talking rubbish nails dont breathe for god sake! Her nails are so painful because the therapist done a bad job at removing them

March 22, 20191 found this helpful

While I do agree with some of what you said you shouldnt use an acetone free remover, because they are more drying than pure acetone. Acetone removes polish much quicker, because it is only on the nail for s moment is less drying. In my experience acetone free removers never work as well and dry out my nails more. What I would suggest to help with the removal process is to put a whole bunch on Jojoba oil around the nail and cuticle before you remove the polish. That will act as a barrier and protect against drying.

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January 21, 2018

I pulled off my acrylic nail. The tip of my finger itches and under the fingernail tip it hurts and burns. Did I pull nail layers off and it's thin?

I have tried several things to ease it. Anyone have any suggestions? Please.


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January 21, 20180 found this helpful
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You probably have an Infection. I would put an antibiotic cream on it. If it doesnt get better, call a doctor.

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April 3, 2020

I removed my own acrylics and now my nails are super sore, painful, and red! They are a mess. The tips are red. Any suggestions?


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April 3, 20200 found this helpful

I'm sorry to hear. I hope you will get better soon.

You could try placing your fingers in cold ice water to help the pain.

Do you have any cuticle oil, vitamin e or aloe vera you can use that to apply to your nails.

There is a long thread about this so you are not alone. You can read it here on ThriftyFun:


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April 3, 20200 found this helpful

Be sure and read the suggestions on this link:

The best remedy for this type of pain is to soak your nails in warm/hot water with lost of Epsom Salt. Water should be as hot as you can stand it and at least 1/2 to one cup of Epsom Salt. If you clean your hands before soaking you can reheat the water and do this several times a day until the redness is gone (or you could get an infection).

You can use just plain hot/warm water or add some antibacterial soap.

If you do not have Epsom Salt you can try some of the suggestions on the link but if you have nothing else - regular table salt will help to draw out that infection.
You can also use Hydrogen Peroxide as a soak.
Use an antibiotic ointment after each soak.

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March 29, 2019

I am in desperate need of advice right now. My fingernails are thin and my fingertip is throbbing in pain. I can barely touch anything.

The nail tech used an electric file to shave my gels down and then took a metal instrument and dug it underneath my nail, pushing between my nail and the gel and ripped them off. Obviously, all except one did not come off cleanly with a pop. Most came off in pieces. It hurt so much; I had to stop her for a break every now and then. Then, she used a regular file to "get the rest off", brushed off the white dust, and sent me on my way. I have just learned from a friend that peeling off the gel is apparently not how a nail tech is supposed to do this?! I am so confused.Throbbing Pain after GEL Nail Removal - closeup of left hand nails


It was the most painful thing I've ever felt on my nail or so I thought until now (5 hours later). My nails are paper thin and red and weak. They are basically translucent and like, moldable? As in I have a dent in one where I pressed it.

She told me they were going to be sensitive to hot and cold water for today and tomorrow. But they constantly ache. If I touch them lightly with my own fingertips, they hurt fiercely. I grabbed a cotton swab and--bam--they hurt. I've been trying to avoid touching them/knocking them.

Does anyone have advice on how to care for them? I have applied cuticle oil like every hour and to my surprise, each time my nails seem to suck the oil up in seconds.

My nail tech said to get a nail hardener and apply it. I bought OPI formaldehyde free for sensitive/peeling nails. Does anyone know when I should apply it?

I am very nervous that the pain will continue into next week when I need to use my hands for work. Any advice welcome. I don't know how people do this; I'll never get nails done again.

The picture is of my nails after ow ow. I am not sure if you can see the very red blotches. What is this? I think I can just see down to my irritated nail bed. :sad:

Thanks in advance.

Throbbing Pain after GEL Nail Removal - right hand


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March 29, 20190 found this helpful

I have felt the same horrible pain from having nails removed, and like you said, you can't even touch a thing or even touch fingers together.

My past nail person (used the electric grinder, I call it), on mine to remove the parts of the painted on acrylic that was still stuck on my nails, and she grinded right on through my nail - and then I went through the ceiling practically. My fingers were raw feeling for days before I could even touch anything without yelping.

I believe it will take several days before your fingers and nails feel right again, as they have been injured.

I (personally) would not put anything on them, because you need air to be able to get to them, which will help them heal faster.
*use the nail hardener" when your nails are in very good condition*

You could put gauze around them, still allowing air to them, which the gauze is only to help you remember, since we automatically reach for things, and then "that owie" is what reminds us. It's awful that happened, and I'm so sorry that they're hurting as they are.


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March 31, 20190 found this helpful

Many others have experienced this too:

Many suggested to paint a couple layers of Hard as Nails or the kind you are using to keep a barrier from your nails since your nails have been sanded down too thinly so it's affecting your nerves. You could also put cuticle conditioner.

If the pain persists, you should see a doctor.


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March 31, 20190 found this helpful

I've felt that exact pain and it's horrid. It just takes time. But in the meantime, use a clear strengthening coat of varnish on your nails, the ones with nutrients. If it still hurts in 3 days, I'd get it checked. I'm so sorry.

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May 7, 2016

Why do my nails still feel sore to the touch four days after having my acrylic nails removed? I went to the salon that put my acrylic nails on to remove them. Is the salon at fault here or I am being a whimp? It has had a great effect on my daily life.

I am having problems doing simple things with my hands. How long is this likely to last? I get married on the 17th May 2016. So getting worried that I may not be able to have my nails done for my wedding. :-(

closeup of nails
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March 26, 2014

My fingernail beds are very tender and sore from removing acrylic nails. What can I do to make the my fingers feel better?


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June 3, 20170 found this helpful

I removed mine one time and my hands hurt all night. I used Ibuprofen and they were better the next day. I learned it's better to have artificial nails removed at the nail salon and my hands won't hurt.

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