Home Nails Why Do My Press On Nails Hurt?

Why Do My Press On Nails Hurt?

by Gabbi

A fresh manicure can make you feel put together, powerful, and flawless, but sometimes they can take too much time to maintain. In addition, manicures can rack up a hefty price tag very quickly, so now people started using press-on nails.

Press-on nails take the thinking, time, money, and effort out of doing your nails. It’s a fool-proof way to have intricate and salon-quality nails in minutes. All you need to do is prep your nails, add the adhesive, and bam! You have a fresh set to flaunt. 

However, while press-on nails are easy to apply, you can still mistreat your nails in the process, leading to unwanted results. For example, an improper prep routine will allow your press-ons to pop off quickly, or your nails can weaken over time with the wrong care. 

Why do your press-on nails hurt? Press-on nails are the least invasive fake nails, and they can do little to no damage to your nail plate. However, multiple factors like glue/adhesive, filing, and nail health can cause your nails to burn or ache.

Some individuals even experience a level of discomfort and pain when rocking their press-on nails. Because of these unwanted results, many individuals are shying away from press-on nails, when in reality, they could be missing out on the best and easiest manicure of their lives.

So let’s go over the common reasons why your press-ons may be hurting and how you can prevent it from happening in the future.

Why Can Press-On Nails Be Painful?

Press-on nails are great to experiment with, and they cost less to maintain than your average manicure. However, while they are the least invasive and easiest fake nails to apply, there are still consequences that can make the experience intolerable.

Thankfully, we can slowly eliminate the cause of why your press-on nails are causing you discomfort. It’s crucial to ensure your nails are healthy and prepped accurately, and that the glue is high-quality. 

All of this and more is the recipe for flawless press-ons. So, without further ado, here are the reasons why your press-ons are causing you more grief than they’re worth.

1. Glue Is Not For You

You can’t have press-on nails without some form of adhesive. Whether its an adhesive lining on the back of the fake nails or liquid glue, you need something to keep the nails on longer than two weeks. However, glue can cause some issues.

For starters, make sure your glue is not expired. Glue that has gone bad or has a funky smell or texture shouldn’t be applied to your nails. Expired glue can lead to issues like discomfort or pain. In addition, you won’t receive long-lasting results. 

Expired glue can even weaken the nails or infect the cuticles and sidewall. Another adhesive issue is that you may have an allergic reaction to an ingredient within the glue. Allergic reactions can cause inflammation, itching, redness, and more. 

Liquid glue can be filled with all sorts of harsh chemicals that can be pretty damaging for the skin and nails, especially if you’re already sensitive. In addition, those chemicals can cause an uncomfortable reaction if you are allergic or you use the glue frequently. 

Instead, opt for press-on nails that have an adhesive lining to avoid reactions from a liquid glue. In addition, you could be using too much glue. Layering on the liquid adhesive can create an intolerable coating that applies pressure to your nails. 

Applying the correct amount of glue the first time is crucial because you don’t want your nail to pop off and have to add another layer of glue. Glue buildup leaves a weird residue, and it can become too much for the nail to handle in conjunction with the fake nails. 

So before you conclude your nails are the problem, investigate your glue. Make sure you aren’t allergic to your glue by conducting a patch test the day before you need to apply your nails. Your glue should be applied carefully with the instructed amount. 

2. Skipping Your Nail Prep Routine 

Prepping your nails is often overlooked when it comes to applying press-on nails. We are so eager to slap those fake nails on our fingers we forget to make them last. We need a prepped and primed base.

However, the incorrect nail routine can lead to pain and discomfort when your nails are applied. Not only will it be painful without a protective layer, but your press-on nails are more likely to fall off faster, especially if you have hands-on work.

3. Improper Filing

Filing your nails is crucial to press-on nail application. You will want to create an even and smooth base for the adhesive to stick onto seamlessly. In addition, you will want to make a short and well-kept nail that doesn’t disrupt your falsies.

However, filing can be extremely damaging to the nails. If you vigorously file your nail plate back and forth, it can cause tenderness. Then, adding glue and a press-on nail on top of that tender feeling will create more discomfort, which isn’t fun.

Filing your nail gently in one direction will keep it strong enough to handle both the adhesive and the fake nails for an extended amount of time. 

4. Neglecting Your Cuticles 

Distressed cuticles will make press-on nails difficult to manage. Cuticle care is crucial for the nail plate to remain healthy and protected. In addition, you need to push them back gently so the fake nail can rest comfortably.

The last thing you want to do is glue and apply a fake nail on overgrown cuticles. In addition, avoid trimming your cuticles to prevent cuts and blood that can also become even more irritated if glue and press-ons are applied. 

5. Skipping Your Base Coat 

If you want to add a layer of protection for your nails before applying the glue, swipe on a thin layer of base coat and let it dry. The base coat will be a barrier between your nail and the adhesive, reducing pain and discomfort.

6. Incorrect Application Or Removal 

Some people are wary of trusting the longevity of press-on nails, so to ensure the nails aren’t going anywhere, they misapply the nails. Therefore, the application method you use is crucial to their staying power and whether or not they cause any discomfort.

The term press-on nails indicates that you need to press the fake nail to your natural nail with a glue to hold it in place. First, we’ve covered how too much glue can cause pain. Now, we need to go over how the amount of pressure you apply can also affect your nails.

Yes, you do need to press the nail firmly to get it to stick. However, too much pressure will weaken the natural nail and create a frail base for the fake nails. Too much pinching, pushing, and pressing can result in a tender and aching nail bed. 

Another issue is that people believe the nails can pop off and be removed at any time. However, that’s not the case. So if you remove your fake nails by simply ripping, popping, or peeling them off your nail base, you should rethink your method.

Popping off the nails yourself will risk ripping off the first layer of the natural nail. Trust us, that is a pain you don’t want to feel.

Unfortunately, some individuals rip off their nails and immediately apply new press-ons to the nails and wonder why they are in pain.

Press-on nails need to be soaked in either warm soapy water, nail polish remover, or acetone before removal. The removal will depend on your brand of nails, so follow their instructions for the best outcome. 

Soaking your nail will allow the glue to disintegrate, and you can gently break up the press-on nail with an orangewood stick—no need for randomly ripping or popping off the nails.

7. Injury Or Infection 

Lastly, the most obvious reason your press-ons hurt may be that your nails have dealt with some trauma. If you’re ripping off your fake nails, you are causing unnecessary injury to your nail beds, making it painful to continue wearing them.

Thankfully, that is an easy fix. All you need to do is wait and nurture your nails back to health and continue with the proper removal technique. However, there are other ways your nails could have become injured. 

For example, maybe your fingers got caught somewhere, or something heavy dropped on your nails. It can even be as simple as breaking a nail a little too far down. In addition, infections can play a major role in how your nails look and feel. 

Nails indicate your overall health, so if something is wrong with them, it could be time for a check-up. However, it’s most commonly an infection of the nail itself that causes the most issues.

Infected nail beds can result from compromised cuticles, expired products, or exposure to a harsh external force. In more severe circumstances, infected nails can lead you to the real problem of why your nails are infected or inflamed.

So listen to what your nails are telling you. Now that you’ve learned all the signs of pain from press-ons, you know how to deal with it so you can have flawless claws every time. 

Up Next: Itchy Cuticles – Why It Happens And What To Do

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