Why do nails hurt after gel nails?

Gel nails have the ability to give a complete makeover to your nails. And it is also long-lasting and less damaging than acrylic nails. However, in some cases, your nails can hurt after getting the gel nails. It can happen due to a number of reasons.

From incorrect techniques, wrong products, the type of gel used to nail infection, and naturally dry and brittle nails, there are a couple of factors that can contribute to hurting your nails after the gel nails manicure.

Try to make sure you have a healthy nail, and the process is done the right way to avoid the burning sensation.

Why do my nails hurt after gel manicure?

If truth be told, your nails should not hurt after getting a gel manicure. This type of manicure is not as easy as your regular polish manicures and instead needs patience, time, and skill.

The few reasons that can lead to painful nails after the manicure are as follows:-


The process removes the natural oils from the topmost protective layer of your nails, which is an essential step for the gel to bond with the nails. But it must be gentle enough and should be buffed as little as required.

Otherwise, it can make the nerve endings underneath the protective layer vulnerable and cause irritation. As a result, it can make your nails hurt. One should also use a dehydrator to remove the oils and shininess off of the nails.


If your nails aren’t cleaned and sanitized well enough before starting the manicure, it can lead to nail infection. After the buffing stage, the nails are thinner and vulnerable. So if there are any germs present, chances are it will enter the nail bed and cause infection.

Plus, it can result in poor bonding between the gel and the nail base, causing nail lifting, which is also painful.

The gel layer thickness

The right way to apply the gel is layer by layer, which takes a lot of time. So, when done in a hurried way, it can make the gel layer too thick. If this is the case, you will feel a burning sensation when taken under the UV lamp. This also causes poor binding.

Gel nails removal process

When removing the gel nails, the only method is to dip them in a solution of acetone for a few minutes and then buff it out in a gentle process.

During that time, you may feel irritation and discomfort as acetone is a harsh chemical. But it soon passes away after the gel gets removed.

But the thing to note is never letting your nail technician scratch or chip away the gel even if they are soaked. Otherwise, it will cause significant damage to your nail beds.

Gel type

In total, there are two types of gel. The soft gel is new in the market and can get removed without the use of any nasty or harsh chemicals, whereas hard gel has been in use for a long time and is resistant to chemicals such as acetone.

Due to this reason, the hard gel can cause irritation while the soft gel can’t. So, one should try to go for the latter option even if it’s a bit expensive.

How to stop gel nails from burning?

  1. Pull out your hand under the UV lamp when the burning sensation starts
  2. Use an antiseptic in the nail bed when the nails begin to hurt
  3. Apply over the counter antacid product if cuticle area is burning
  4. Make sure to apply the gel in thinner layers
  5. Choose a reputable nail salon as they will have top skilled nail technicians, so the chances of burning nails will be at a minimum.

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