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    Why Do My Nails Hurt After Getting Them Done? - Causes, Prevention, and Treatment


    Do you ever feel like your nails are screaming in pain after getting them done? We've all been there.

    You leave the salon with your nails looking fabulous, but the agony they put you through is unbearable.

    You might wonder, why do my nails hurt after getting them done? Well, you're not alone. In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind nail pain and offer some practical tips on how to prevent it. So, let's dive right in!

    Reasons for nail pain after getting them done

    Poor nail care

    One of the most common causes of nail pain is poor nail care. This can include using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that can damage the nails and surrounding skin.

    Additionally, improper nail care techniques, like cutting the cuticles too aggressively, can lead to painful nail beds.

    Nail infections

    Nail infections, such as fungal or bacterial infections, can cause your nails to hurt after getting them done. These infections can be caused by contaminated tools or unsterilized salon equipment.

    Allergic reactions

    An allergic reaction to the chemicals used in nail products, such as nail polish or acrylics, can cause nail pain.

    This can be particularly problematic for people with sensitive skin or a history of allergies.


    Overfilling the nails can lead to thinning and weakening, which can make your nails more prone to damage and pain.

    This is especially true when using an electric file or when the technician files too aggressively.

    Trauma from nail enhancement

    Nail enhancements, such as acrylics, gels, or nail extensions, can cause trauma to the nail bed if not applied correctly.

    Improper application or removal of these products can result in nail pain and damage.

    Nail-biting habits

    Nail-biting can cause nail pain by damaging the nail bed and surrounding skin. This can make your nails more susceptible to infection, inflammation, and pain after getting them done.

    How to prevent nail pain

    Proper nail care

    To prevent nail pain, it's essential to practice proper nail care. This includes trimming your nails regularly, moisturizing your cuticles, and avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive tools.

    Avoiding harsh chemicals

    Choose nail products that are free of harsh chemicals, like formaldehyde and toluene. These ingredients can cause irritation and allergic reactions, leading to nail pain.

    Gentle nail filing

    Always file your nails gently to avoid thinning and weakening them. Opt for a fine-grit file and file in one direction to prevent damage.

    Nail-biting prevention

    If you're a nail-biter, try to break the habit to prevent nail pain. Use bitter-tasting nail polish or practice other stress-reduction techniques to help curb the urge to bite your nails.

    Treating existing nail infections

    If you have an existing nail infection, treat it before getting your nails done to prevent further pain and complications. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for the best treatment options.

    Treatment options for nail pain

    Home remedies

    For mild to moderate nail pain, home remedies may provide some relief. Soaking your nails in warm water with Epsom salts can help reduce inflammation and pain. Applying ice packs or over-the-counter pain relief creams may also be helpful.

    Over-the-counter medications

    Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help manage nail pain. However, it's essential to follow the recommended dosage and consult your doctor if the pain persists or worsens.

    Medical treatments

    If your nail pain is severe or doesn't improve with home remedies or over-the-counter medications, it's essential to consult your doctor. They may recommend treatments like prescription medication, physical therapy, or even surgical intervention, depending on the underlying cause of your nail pain.

    When to see a doctor

    If your nail pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms like redness, swelling, or discharge, it's essential to consult a doctor. They can help diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your pain, ensuring that you get the appropriate care.

    Preventing Nail Pain: Tips for Your Next Salon Visit

    In addition to the previously mentioned advice, here are some practical tips to help you prevent nail pain during your next salon visit:

    Communicate with your nail technician. Always discuss your concerns and preferences with your nail technician before starting any treatment. Let them know if you have any allergies or sensitivities, and ask for gentler techniques and products when possible.

    1. Don't rush the process.

    Give yourself enough time for your appointment so you don't feel rushed. This will allow your technician to work carefully and avoid causing unnecessary pain or damage to your nails.

    1. Look for signs of a reputable salon.

    Choose a salon that follows proper hygiene and safety practices. Look for posted licenses, clean workstations, and technicians who wash their hands between clients. Don't hesitate to ask about their sterilization procedures and the products they use.

    1. Don't be afraid to speak up.

    If you feel any discomfort or pain during your nail treatment, let your technician know immediately. They can adjust their techniques or products to make the experience more comfortable for you.

    1. Follow aftercare instructions

    Proper aftercare is essential for maintaining the health of your nails and preventing pain. Make sure to follow your technician's aftercare instructions, including keeping your nails clean, moisturizing your cuticles, and avoiding harsh chemicals.

    Remember, your nails' health and comfort should always be a priority. By following these tips and being proactive in your nail care, you can help ensure a pain-free and enjoyable experience the next time you get your nails done.


    In conclusion, there are several reasons why your nails might hurt after getting them done, ranging from poor nail care to infections or allergic reactions.

    To prevent nail pain, practice proper nail care, avoid harsh chemicals, and treat existing infections. If your nail pain persists or worsens, consult a doctor for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment options.

    Remember, taking care of your nails is just as important as making them look fabulous!


    1. Is it normal for my nails to hurt after getting them done? While mild discomfort may be normal after certain nail treatments, severe or persistent pain is not. If you're experiencing significant pain, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional.
    2. How long should my nails hurt after getting them done? Mild discomfort should subside within a few hours to a day. If your pain persists or worsens, it's essential to consult a doctor.
    3. Can I still get my nails done if I have a nail infection? It's best to treat any existing nail infections before getting your nails done to prevent further complications and pain.
    4. How can I choose a safe nail salon? Look for a salon with a clean environment, sterilized tools, and knowledgeable technicians. Additionally, ask about the products they use and ensure they're free of harsh chemicals.
    5. Are there any alternatives to traditional nail treatments that might be less painful? Yes, there are gentler nail treatments, such as water-based nail polish or gel polish, that don't require UV light. Speak to your nail technician about the best options for your specific needs.