Q:

4/3/2013
Is there a correlation between hives and the application of acrylic nails? Besides removal of the nails, are the hives treated in the same way?

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Although there are very rare cases of contact urticaria due to exposure to acrylic and one case of possible systemic urticaria related to dental exposure (which could result in systemic absorption), I could find no cases of systemic urticaria related to acrylic nails. It would be highly unlikely for this type of exposure (which would not normally gain access to the systemic circulation) to produce a systemic urticarial reaction. Thus, based upon the absence of a recorded case (at least according to my search) and the fact that it would be unlikely for any systemic exposure to occur to acrylic nails, I think that it is extremely doubtful that your patient’s urticaria could be related to her nails. In the unlikely event that it was, besides removal, the treatment would be identical to that of urticaria due to any other cause.

Thank you again for your inquiry.

Contact Dermatitis. 2000 Oct;43(4):232-3.
Chronic urticaria from an acrylic dental prosthesis.
Lunder T, Rogl-Butina M.

Contact Dermatitis. 1993 Oct;29(4):216-7.
Contact urticaria from acrylic acid in Fixomull tape.
Daecke C, Schaller S, Schaller J, Goos M

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology