Why Do My Acrylic Nails Hurt?

Why Do My Acrylic Nails Hurt

Why do my acrylic nails hurt? Many people are often worried about this especially if you are using acrylic nails for the first time. Despite how attractive acrylic nails look, they may hurt after application if you are not used to them.

Your nails and fingertips may be sore and painful to the touch, especially when typing, texting, or doing small handheld tasks. Why does this happen? We’re about to find out!

Acrylic nails are extremely trendy nowadays. They help wearers feel luxurious and gorgeous. Whether you like them long or short, acrylic nails are a fun option to keep your fingers looking fresh and clean.

An important thing to note is that it is not typically the acrylic itself that hurts, but your fingers from the application. Our nails and the nerves underneath them can be sensitive, so if you’re not used to having manicures and fake nails, the work done to your nails can be painful at first. 

Additionally, if your nails are used to being untouched and exposed to the elements, having something on top, i.e., an acrylic nail, can apply pressure to the nail and nailbed that you are not used to. This pressure can be painful until your nails adjust to the new feeling. 

Another reason your acrylic nails may hurt is from using them for your daily tasks. Especially if they’re long, your nails are now bumping into things like keyboard, doorknobs, phones, etc., that they haven’t before.

The constant touching between your new acrylics and other objects may manifest as pain at first since you are not used to the nails being on. We use our hands and fingers for everything, so having on long nails can get in the way at first until you are used to the feeling. 

Why Do My Nails Hurt After Getting Acrylics?

Why Do My Acrylic Nails Hurt

There are a few reasons why your nails may hurt after getting acrylics. Most likely, it is due to you not being used to having them on your nails.

Our fingers, and consequently our nails, are used for so many daily tasks. We are not even aware of how often we use them! Therefore, when wearing acrylic nails, especially at a longer length, they get in the way of many of the things we use our fingers for like typing, texting, opening packages, picking things up, etc. Since we are not used to the resistance of acrylic nails while doing these tasks, they may cause us pain for a few days.

Additionally, acrylic nails add pressure to your nail. It is like putting a case on your phone; if you are not used to having a case, it may feel weird at first. Sometimes this weirdness can be painful since, unlike a phone, our nails contain nerves. If your nails are used to being exposed every day, having that “casing” on them, the weirdness could feel painful at first.

One last reason why your nails may hurt after acrylics is if your nail tech was particularly rough with the application. Nail clippers, filing sticks, cuticle clippers, and nail drills can all damage your nail if used improperly or roughly. Nail techs cannot tell when they are too rough or hurting you until it’s too late and they cut through the skin.

Additionally, short nails are integral for applying acrylic tips, and filing down your natural nail too short can cause pain. This is why it is important to speak up if you experience pain while getting your nails done! If your skin or cuticles was cut or damaged, it could result in your nail hurting for a few days until it heals. 

Is it Normal that My Nails Hurt After Getting Acrylics?

Why Do My Acrylic Nails Hurt

It is normal for your nails to hurt after getting acrylics, especially if you are a first-time user of acrylic nails or have not had fake nails on in a long time.

Your fingers are not used to having something stuck on them, and the unfamiliarity tells the brain to send signals that it is in pain. This is a pretty natural response to getting acrylics for the first time and means your body is doing its job to naturally protect against foreign objects.

Nonetheless, acrylic nails are completely safe for you to get at a salon, despite the initial pain or pressure you may feel.

If your nails hurt from over-manicuring them, such as the nail tech filing too short or clipping your cuticles too harshly, while it is unfortunate, it is reasonably common while getting manicures for the first time.

As a new user of acrylics, you may be scared to speak up if you are in pain, but it is important for your nail tech to know if they are too rough. 

What Helps Sore Nails After Acrylics?

If your nails are sore after getting acrylics, don’t fret! There are ways to alleviate the pain until it naturally subsides after a couple of days. 

The first thing you can do is take a pain reliever. Over-the-counter pain medications like Ibuprofen or Advil can help lessen the pain of new acrylic nails. Talk to a doctor or read the bottle for dosage directions before taking.

You can also soak your nails in cold ice water for 15 minutes at a time to try and alleviate the pain. Lastly, try to go easy with your hands until the pain subsides. This may be difficult at first, but taking a break from typing, texting, lifting weights, etc. can be useful until the pain subsides. 

A preventative measure you can use before getting acrylic nails done is to get them short the first time. This can help your body and nails slowly get used to having them on, and you won’t bump your nails against things as much as you would with long nails while you’re getting used to them. 

How Long Will My Nails Hurt After Getting Acrylics?

Why Do My Acrylic Nails Hurt

If you’re experiencing pain or pressure after getting acrylic nails, it can be uncomfortable. However, the pain should not last longer than a day or two. After that, you should begin getting used to having nails on your fingers. If pain lasts longer than 3 days, go back to your nail salon, as it may be a sign of infection rather than pressure, and you may need to get them removed. 

In very rare cases, customers find out they are allergic to acrylic nail products and long-lasting pain is a signal of that. However, this is a very rare scenario and most likely the pain is just from the pressure of the acrylic against your nail that you are not used to.

Why are My Acrylic Nails Turning Orange?

If your acrylic nails are turning orange or have a yellowy-orange tint, it may be a sign of an infection on your natural nail. If your acrylics are not sealed to your nail properly or begin to lift after wear, it allows moisture to seep in between your acrylic nail and your natural nail. This can cause a fungal infection.

This normally is not serious and will go away naturally once the nails is removed. If this happens, go back to your salon to have your acrylics removed. 


Acrylic nails can be beautiful and fun to do for special occasions or everyday life! However, if you are not used to them, they may be painful at first. This pain should not last long and there are ways to alleviate it so you can get back to enjoying your beautiful nails!

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