nail tech PEELED off my gel nails (Please help)

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  1. Hello,
    I am in desperate need of advice right now. I had gone my life without ever getting a manicure until about 3 months ago when I decided to try something new and get gel nails. Anyway, I needed to get them removed for an upcoming exam I am taking and I went to my nail tech for removal.

    She used an electric file (I am not familiar with the terminology, but the little rotating drill bit that files lol) to shave them 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.

    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 (boy you don't realize how much you use them until you're trying to be careful).

    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.

    Thanks in advance

    Pic is my nails after ow ow, 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:

    Attached Files:

  2. Omg, what a horror story! This nails person should be banned from touching anybody’s nails, ever!
    Not much you can do aside from allowing time to work on you nails to strengthen them. Use gloves for washing up and housework, avoid too much hand soap because it dries out. Olive oil with lemon seems to moisturise my hands and nails pretty well. I would also take supplements.
    cbarrus, JDV and Shopgirl1996 like this.
  3. Oh my. She needs to be reported. They are supposed to soak your names. That is awful. I am so sorry poor thing
    JDV likes this.
  4. Like the others have said, this is not how they should've removed them. Done properly your nails shouldn't have had damage, but these salons are all about doing things the quickest way possible so they cut corners. I hope you report them to the licensing board! I feel your pain though, at least I remember that pain. Back when I was getting sculptured nails the tech drilled through my thin nails and into the nailbed and then placed the sculpture overtop. I didn't realize at the time she had punctured my nail until the burning got worse and worse and I had to soak it off because it was like a hot needle was under my nail.

    If you don't have any punctures like I did, and I'm sure going back to any salon let alone that one is the last thing you want to do, but if you can find a place that does the IBX strengthening treatment it might help you until the damage grows out. Ugh, and salons wonder why people don't return!
  5. Wow. I’m so sorry that happened to you. They usually soak them and gently scrape it off. This does take more time but my place charges $15 for it I f you aren’t getting a new gel put on.

    I had one person use the rotating nail thing once and it ruined my nails. No scraping but the file really wore the nail done.
  6. OMG, agree you should report them
  7. Wow. My sister gets gel nails and they always soak her nails to get the old gel off. I don't know what I would do, they look so painful! I would even consider seeing the Dermotologist, maybe he has some advise or knows of a product that will protect your nails until they grow back in. It's like she removed the top layer of your nail! I'm so sorry!
  8. I'm sorry that you had this painful experience. This is the method that I have always used to remove my gel nails- I peel them off myself. Usually over the course of a day. I have never returned to the salon to have them soaked off.

    The soreness will go away and your nails will recover. They will feel tender for about a week. Just keep them moisturized and I would cut them down so they don't catch on anything and tear.
  9. I agree that this salon should be reported or at least this nail technician. I've been getting gel nails on and off now for a couple of years, and they are always soaked off before applying new gel. Gel is actually the most gentle other than regular nail polish that you can get and my nails look fine. The salon I go to has never used an electric file on me. It looks like she burned your nails with that tool. I agree that you should see either a dermatologist or your doctor. You do not want to get an infection, so I would be careful what you put on top of your nails without professional advise. Some salons only care about getting people in and out very quickly to make more money, and this device accomplishes that for them, but is not good for the customer. I have seen other salons do "on-the-job training" which could mean that this particular nail tech does not have a cosmetology license as she should.
  10. As a retired nail tech, this story just infuriates me! I am so sorry (and embarrassed) that you have to go through this. You should definitely report the tech - to her supervisor and to your local health authorities. Her response to your injury is appalling and she will continue to do this until stopped.

    I am assuming you had gel extensions, not gel polish, but neither of them should be removed as you described. What you have now is called "rings of fire" and it is caused by the careless use of an efile. It also appears that you might have the beginnings of some onycholysis on your index fingers. It will take time to heal and for the damage to grow out, but your nails and cuticles look otherwise healthy. This filing has damaged the protective barrier on on nails, so wash your hands often, apply tea tree oil several times a day, and use an antibacterial ointment at night. You can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the pain. If you show ANY sign of an infection, get to your doctor immediately. Add a daily biotin supplement for the next few months, avoid damaging chemicals, and protect your nails from any additional trauma. You might try CND Rescue RX. Again, I am sorry you have to endure this.
    PewPew likes this.
  11. Oh my goodness me, they look so painful, poor you. That nail tech is a butcher! I don’t think there’s much you can do. I’d apply a nourishing nail hardener, I think. It might be an idea to get some Lidocaine spray or cream (the spray is better) and massage it in liberally around your nails every six hours for as many days or even weeks as is necessary. It is a topical anaesthetic, and should help with the pain.
    Oh, and definitely go straight to the doctors if it gets any worse.