Cuticles Itch After Gel Nails? What To Do

Gel nails have gained immense popularity among people who yearn for long-lasting and sturdy manicures. However, some individuals face discomfort and itchiness around their cuticles after getting gel nails done, dampening their nail care experience. This problem is quite common and can be caused by different factors, such as chemical irritation or allergic reactions.

To maintain healthy nails and prevent discomfort, it’s essential to understand the root causes of cuticle itching after gel nails and know how to address them. This guide will explain why your cuticles may itch after getting gel nails and share practical tips to reduce this discomfort. Following these tips will help you enjoy your nail care experience without irritation.

Why Do Cuticles Itch After Gel Nails?

Gel nails have become popular due to their ability to create a long-lasting and glossy finish that traditional nail polish cannot provide. However, some individuals who get gel nails may experience itching around the cuticles shortly after their manicure, which can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Understanding the reasons for the reaction is essential to reducing discomfort in the future.

Chemical Irritation

Gel nail polishes can cause itchiness in the cuticles due to chemical irritation. When cured under UV or LED lamps, the chemicals in the polish can come into contact with the skin, leading to discomfort. If you experience these symptoms, consult a dermatologist for proper assessment and treatment.

Allergic Reactions

Itching after applying gel nails may be due to an allergic reaction to ingredients like methacrylates or formaldehyde. It’s important to note that you can still experience allergic reactions from gel nails, even if you’ve used them before. If you experience any unusual symptoms after applying gel nails, it’s recommended that you seek medical advice.

Dryness and Dehydration

Itching of cuticles is a common side effect of getting gel nails. The process can cause dryness and dehydration, stripping natural moisture from the nails and surrounding skin. Frequent use of acetone during removal can worsen the sensation.

Tips to Relieve Cuticle Itching

Itching of cuticles after getting gel nails is common. Gel nails can cause dryness and dehydration, stripping the nails and skin of natural moisture. Acetone used during removal can worsen the itchy sensation.


To relieve cuticle itching, keep them hydrated by moisturizing them with a nourishing cuticle oil or cream. Choose products with hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil, vitamin E, or almond oil.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

To protect your nails, avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals like detergents, cleaning products, and acetone-based nail polish removers. Wear gloves when doing such chores and use acetone-free nail polish removers to keep your nails healthy and strong.


To keep nails healthy and beautiful, moisturize hands and nails regularly. Use cuticle oil and a hydrating hand cream multiple times a day. Be sure to give special attention to the cuticle area while applying the cream. Massage the cream into the skin around the cuticles to stimulate circulation and hydration, which will help promote stronger nails.

Using Cuticle Oil

Applying cuticle oil can be a simple and effective solution if you suffer from dry, itchy cuticles. Not only does it soothe the irritation, but it also promotes healthy nail growth. To get the best results, look for a nourishing cuticle oil that contains ingredients such as vitamin E, jojoba oil, or almond oil. Make it a habit to apply the oil to your cuticles and nails daily, gently massaging it to help it absorb. Doing so can make a noticeable difference in the health and appearance of your nails.

When to Seek Professional Help

Experiencing itching around the cuticles after getting gel nails is not uncommon, and in most cases, it can be relieved with simple home remedies. However, there are situations where seeking professional help may be necessary. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to consult a dermatologist or nail technician:

Signs of Infection

If the area around the nail bed is red, swollen, painful, or has pus and itching, it could indicate an infection. Infections can occur if bacteria or fungi enter the skin through minor cuts or breaks around the nails. If you suspect a disease, seeking medical attention promptly is crucial as it can prevent it from spreading.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Although uncommon, some individuals can experience allergic reactions to gel nail products. Severe itching, swelling, redness, or blistering around the nails could be signs of an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a serious condition that a severe allergic reaction can cause. It is potentially life-threatening and requires urgent medical attention.

Persistent Symptoms

If you’ve tried home remedies to relieve cuticle itching, but the symptoms persist or worsen over time, seeking professional help is a good idea. A dermatologist or a nail technician can help diagnose the underlying cause of itching and recommend appropriate treatments.

Changes in Nail Appearance

If you see any changes in the appearance of your nails, such as discoloration, thickening, or separation from the nail bed, it could be a sign of an underlying nail condition. Conditions such as nail psoriasis, fungal infections, or nail dystrophy can cause itching, pain, and discomfort.

Preventing Cuticle Itching in the Future

While experiencing cuticle itching after getting gel nails can be bothersome, you can take steps to prevent it from happening in the future. Adopting good nail care habits and making simple changes to your manicure routine can keep your cuticles healthy and itch-free. Here are some tips to help prevent cuticle itching:

Proper Nail Care

To avoid itchy cuticles, it is essential to keep your nails healthy. Don’t bite or scratch your nails or cuticles. Take care of your nails regularly by trimming and filing them to prevent them from becoming too long or uneven.

Choosing a Reputable Salon

When getting gel nails, choosing a reputable salon that follows proper hygiene practices is essential. Ensure the salon disinfects its tools between clients and uses high-quality, reputable nail products. Avoid salons that use cheap or counterfeit products, as these can contain harmful chemicals irritating your skin.

Using Protective Measures

During the gel nail application process, ask your nail technician to use protective measures to prevent the gel from coming into contact with your skin. This can include using cuticle oil or barrier cream around the nails to protect the surrounding skin from irritation. Additionally, ensure that the gel is applied evenly and that there are no gaps or air bubbles between the gel and your nail.

Proper Gel Nail Removal

Properly removing gel nails is as important as the application process to prevent cuticle itching. Avoid picking or peeling off the gel, which can damage the nail and surrounding skin. Instead, soak your nails in acetone-based nail polish remover and gently push the softened gel off with a cuticle pusher. Ensure your nails and cuticles are thoroughly moisturized after removal to prevent dryness and dehydration.

Home Remedies for Cuticle Itching

Dealing with itchy cuticles after getting gel nails can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Fortunately, there are several simple home remedies that you can try to help alleviate this irritation and restore comfort to your nails. Here are some effective home remedies for cuticle itching:

Soothing Soaks

Soak your fingertips in warm water for relief from itchy cuticles. Add tea tree or lavender oil for an enhanced experience. The oils possess properties that help in fighting bacteria and inflammation, which can lead to a reduction in tingling and irritation.

Natural Oils

Applying natural oils to your cuticles can help moisturize the skin and relieve itching. Coconut, olive, and almond oil are excellent for hydrating dry, itchy cuticles. Massage a small amount of oil into your cuticles and nails daily to keep them soft and supple.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is famous for its calming and curative characteristics, which make it an exceptional solution for irritated cuticles. Rub a small quantity of aloe vera gel gently on your nails and cuticles. Applying aloe vera gel can reduce itching and inflammation and enhance healing.

Oatmeal Soak

Another natural remedy that can relieve itchy cuticles is oatmeal. To use it, grind one cup of oatmeal into a fine powder and add it to a bowl of warm water. Soak your fingertips in this oatmeal water for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with clean water and pat dry. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal can soothe itching and irritation.

Apple Cider Vinegar Soak

To relieve itchy cuticles caused by fungus, soak fingertips in a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and dry.

Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste of baking soda and water to relieve itching and inflammation. Apply on the affected area for 10-15 mins, rinse with warm water, and pat dry.

Over-the-Counter Solutions

You may seek quick and effective relief if you’re dealing with itchy cuticles after getting gel nails. Fortunately, several over-the-counter solutions can help alleviate itching and discomfort. Here are some options to consider:


Over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin can help with itching caused by allergies. They block histamine, which the immune system releases in response to allergens.

Hydrocortisone Cream

Hydrocortisone cream reduces itching, inflammation, and redness. Apply to the affected area 2-3 times/day or as directed. Follow the instructions on the packaging. Avoid using on broken or infected skin.

Anti-itch Lotions

Over-the-counter anti-itch lotions containing calamine or pramoxine can help relieve itching and irritation. Apply the cream to the affected area throughout the day to help soothe itching and promote healing.

Cool Compress

To relieve itchy cuticles, apply a cool compress. Soak a cloth in cold water, wring it out, and place it on the affected area for 10-15 minutes. Repeat as needed.

Colloidal Oatmeal Baths

To soothe itchy skin and promote healing, add about a cup of colloidal oatmeal to a warm bath for 15-20 minutes.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel, a natural astringent, may be an effective remedy for itching and inflammation. Apply it topically with a cotton ball several times daily to soothe and promote healing.

Consulting with a Dermatologist

Consider seeing a dermatologist for persistent cuticle itching. Identifying the underlying cause is their expertise, and they can offer recommendations on possible treatment options. During your visit, they will examine and guide you on how to best manage your condition.

Allergy Testing

For cuticle itching caused by an allergy, see a dermatologist for testing. Allergy testing can help determine whether you’re allergic to any of the ingredients in gel nail products or other substances.

Prescription Treatments

For persistent cuticle itching, seek a dermatologist’s advice to identify the root cause and suggest suitable treatment.

Professional Advice

Getting personalized advice from a dermatologist can help you take better care of your nails and avoid experiencing cuticle itching again in the future. They can recommend specific products and techniques for maintaining healthy nails and cuticles and may offer tips on minimizing your risk of allergic reactions.

Follow-up Care

Your dermatologist may suggest scheduling additional appointments to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan after your first consultation. Follow your dermatologist’s instructions carefully and promptly report any new or worsening symptoms.

Alternative Treatments

Sometimes, a dermatologist may recommend alternative treatments for cuticle itching, such as phototherapy or laser therapy. These treatments can help minimize inflammation and promote healing in the affected area.


Dealing with itchy cuticles after getting gel nails can be uncomfortable and frustrating. However, with the right approach, you can find relief and restore comfort to your nails. Whether you opt for home remedies, over-the-counter solutions, or professional help, plenty of options are available to help alleviate cuticle itching and promote healing.

Remember to take good care of your nails and cuticles by keeping them clean, moisturized, and well-hydrated. Avoid exposing your nails to harsh chemicals, and be mindful of any signs of irritation or allergic reactions. If your symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist or nail technician for further evaluation and treatment.

By following these tips and recommendations, you can keep your nails and cuticles healthy and comfortable, allowing you to enjoy gel manicures without itching and irritation.

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