Exposure to Nail and False Eyelash Glue: A Case Series Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 15;17(12):4283. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124283.


The use of artificial nail tips in professional manicure services and the application of false eyelashes are a growing trend among young women. Often, this "beauty routine" is performed at home without the supervision of an expert beautician, raising health problems due to either the spillage of these products or to accidental exposure to children. The aim of this study is to review the Pavia Poison Control Centre clinical records to identify the frequency, the most common route of exposure, and the possible risks associated to these events to support the decision-making process in emergency departments. The Pavia Poison Control Centre database was retrospectively searched for records reporting nail or false eyelash glue exposure from January 2007 to April 2020, and 42 patients were identified. Among the patients, 76% presented symptoms from mild to severe, while 24% were asymptomatic. The most common route of exposure was dermal, through cutaneous contact, as determined for 19 patients involved. Among these, seven patients presented with second-degree chemical burns, cutaneous erythema, and ocular symptoms. The most dangerous glue component was cyanoacrylate, leading to symptoms in 16 out of 22 patients, while three cases remained asymptomatic. Even if this exposure is relatively rare, nail and false eyelash glue can be seriously harmful, especially when exposure occurs via dermal or ocular routes. In the case of emergency, it is important to treat the patient as fast as possible to limit the damage caused by a burn. Moreover, even though these products are often perceived as harmless, safety precautions should be taken to prevent children from accidental contact.

Keywords: accidental injury; chemical burns; cyanoacrylate; dermal/ocular; epidemiology; false eyelash glue; nail glue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Burns*
  • Child
  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Erythema
  • Eyelashes*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Cyanoacrylates