[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 1979

Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Sculptured Nails

Author Affiliations


From the Dermatology Service, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Tex.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(1):100. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010010068024

Sculptured artificial nails are a popular method of improving the cosmetic appearance of natural nails. They are made by mixing a liquid monomer with a powder polymer and then molding this acrylic compound onto the natural nail. We have recently seen a patient with allergic contact dermatitis to ethyl methacrylate, the liquid monomer used in these artificial fingernails. The purpose of this article is to report a case in which ethyl methacrylate was the sensitizer in the nail, and to demonstrate cross-sensitivity to methyl and N-butyl methacrylate.

Report of a Case  A 50-year-old woman used artificial fingernails for 1 1/2 years because of nail fragility. This process involved the mixing of ethyl methacrylate monomer with acrylic polymers. For several months prior to being seen in the clinic, a paronychial and eyelid dermatitis (Figure) occurred two days after each new application of the nails.Using the aluminum patch test technique, the

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview