Sore Nails After Manicure?

Updated on June 30, 2011
G.T. asks from Kingman, AZ
10 answers

My birthday is this wknd so I thought I'd treat myself to some nails, havent done it in awhile. I'm a biter so the nails were pretty crappy before my girl did her magic. They look awesomely wonderful but boy they are so sore right now! Any suggestions on how to
relieve the pain and make them less tender? It hurts to do anything, oy. It's ALWAYS like this after I have them done, always tender for a day or two. I'm just wondering if there is something to stop the pain or do I just consider it normal wear and tear for the sake of vanity?

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So What Happened?

It makes sense that the filing of the nails and then the application of glues and acrylic shrink up and pull on the nails and THATS what makes them sore. My friends all say if you have it done on a regular basis you dont have this problem, so I suppose I need to be more consistent or quit whining about the pain.....
It hurts to type darnit! Work tomorrow wont be any fun.
Thanks for the kind words.
My son will be here from Hawaii this wknd to introduce me to his new g/f. I'm SO excited!

Featured Answers



answers from Sacramento on

I agree on the ibuprofen. It's anti-inflammatory and should get rid of the pain.

My first thought on the pain is that she buffed them too much so they're not as thick as they should be. Or maybe she excessively trimmed cuticles and/or hangnails? I would definitely try another place. I'm the queen of sensitive skin but have never had pain from having my nails done.

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answers from Kansas City on

yeah i am going to agree, this is normal for acryllic. i hate it and i always feel like such a wuss :) but i kind of put it under the category of suffering for vanity, so i feel like i can't complain too much lol. the fills are not as bad, the first time is the worst. (i have had them a few times and each time has hurt like heck, so i decide i will keep them, then eventually i get tired of spending the money, or whatever, and end up taking them off anyway lol)

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answers from Redding on

I've been blessed with lovely fingernails. The rest of me might be falling apart, but for some reason, I have healthy fingernails that grow quickly and evenly. They get pretty long, but if I break or chip one, I just cut them off and start over. Well, we were scheduled to fly to a fancy wing-ding for my husband's company and I got a snaggy nail so I cut them off. He was like, "What did you do that for? Why didn't you just get it fixed?"
So...he gave me money to go get nail tips and acrylic and they looked pretty good except for the fact that my fingers hurt so bad that I couldn't sleep that night. I was crying. I had never felt that kind of pain in my fingers. I called the salon the next day and she said that because I have such thin fingers and narrow nails, the pain was likely because the glue and everything were pulling my own nails to fit the shape of the tips, not vice versa.
I suffered.
I will never do that to myself again.
I certainly admire how nice nails look when they're done but the pain wasn't worth it to me.
Take some ibuprofin. Try soaking in ice water. Try keeping your hands elevated until the throbbing goes down.
I don't know what to tell you to do. I just remember wanting those things ripped off of me as soon as humanly possible.
It may be that after keeping them up it gets less painful. I didn't stick with it long enough to find out.

I hope you feel better soon!

My son's birthday was yesterday.

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answers from Seattle on

Just consider it normal wear and tear. I used to get mine done all the time, and that always happened to me. I have very sensitive skin and what not so this always was a factor. Not much you can really do, cant soak your hands because then it will eventually soften the nails and might make them pop off.

Being pretty is a pain!

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi Grandma T,

I am very concerned...I am a manicurist for the past 12 years and this is not normal. I would assume that they used the drill or a file on your natural nail and took off way too many layers.They should not be using a drill or file on your natural nail. They should be using a ruby stone. You should not have pain from this process anymore than from painting your nails with polish. I would not go back to this salon if I were you because I do not believe they know what they are doing. In the mean time you can soak your nails in alcohol to alleviate the pain. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Good luck in the future.

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answers from Houston on

Take some ibuprofen to calm any inflammation.

It's been years since I've had my nails done and I don't remember my nail beds being sore... and I have really sensitive fingers.

Does she always do your nails? I'm wondering if she's just extra harsh. If so, then try a different person next time.

I read the acrylics put pressure on your nail beds which have been filed down fairly low. So there is more pressure on the painful matrix below the nailbed. I wonder if she files your nails too much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Also have you ever thought that you might be allergic to the process. I found out the hard way one time after I had my 1st child that I am allergic to the acrylic and my fingers get very tender and hurt like a mutha'. just a thought if you haven't heard it already.


answers from St. Louis on

Should I assume fake nails? I never have pain from a manicure but I don't do fakes. They make my nails hurt for months until they grow out. :(

Ibuprofen works best but you need to be careful. Don't take more than the recommended dose.



answers from Minneapolis on




answers from San Francisco on

Sorry no suggestions here. I too experience pain for a couple of days. The sides of my fingers nails get red and during the visit the nail beds can get hot. My answer has been to go natural. Keep them short and clean. No nail polish either. For me going and spending money and not enjoying the experience didn't make sense to me. Luckily short nails are in now.

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