Artificial nail modelling systems in healthcare workers: An emerging risk of contact sensitization to a well-known occupational allergen in an alternative way

Contact Dermatitis. 2024 Jul;91(1):38-44. doi: 10.1111/cod.14548. Epub 2024 Apr 1.


Background: Artificial nail modelling systems (ANMS) pose a significant risk for nail stylists and their clients regarding acrylate sensitization, which might jeopardize the use of acrylate-containing medical devices.

Objectives: To evaluate the frequency of artificial nail practices among female healthcare workers (HCWs) compared with controls and assess ANMS-related side effects.

Methods: In this comparative, cross-sectional, single-centre study, a face-to-face interview with 200 female HCWs and 200 age-matched female dermatology patients (controls) was conducted regarding the use of ANMS between March and November 2023.

Results: Among 400 participants (median age: 25), 85 (21.3%) have applied ANMS at least once. The prevalence of ANMS application was significantly higher in HCWs (n = 54/200, 27%) compared with controls (n = 31/200, 15.5%) (p < 0.05). Long-lasting nail polish was the most commonly preferred technique (n = 82/85, 96.5%). ANMS were mainly performed in nail studios by nail stylists (n = 79/85, 92.9%), while three participants were using home kits. Nail brittleness was the most frequently reported side effect (n = 19/85, 22.4%). No case of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) was detected.

Conclusions: The popularity of ANMS among young female HCWs is growing. This striking trend might further put these individuals not only at risk of medical device-related adverse events but also occupational ACD.

Keywords: 2‐hydroxyethyl methacrylate; acrylates; allergic contact dermatitis; artificial nail modelling systems; healthcare worker; long‐lasting nail polish; occupational.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylates* / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact* / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact* / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational* / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational* / etiology
  • Female
  • Health Personnel* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nails*
  • Young Adult


  • Acrylates
  • Allergens