Why do gel nails hurt under UV light?

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Gel nails are a popular trend in the beauty industry, offering a long-lasting and durable alternative to traditional nail polish. However, some individuals experience pain and discomfort when getting gel nails cured under UV light. In this blog post, we will explore why gel nails hurt under UV light and what you can do to prevent this discomfort.

Why do gel nails hurt under uv light?

Understanding Gel Nails

Before we delve into the reasons why gel nails hurt under UV light, let’s first understand what gel nails are. Gel nails are a type of artificial nails that are applied in several layers and then cured under a UV or LED light. This curing process hardens the gel, creating a strong and long-lasting nail enhancement. The process usually involves applying a base coat, two to three coats of colored gel, and a topcoat to seal the color and protect the nail. The curing process typically takes around two to three minutes under a UV light or 30 to 60 seconds under an LED light.

Why Gel Nails Hurt Under UV Light

Sensitivity to UV Light

One of the primary reasons why gel nails can cause pain or discomfort is because some individuals are sensitive to UV light. When the UV light is applied to the nails during the curing process, it can cause a burning or stinging sensation on the skin surrounding the nails. This sensitivity can be heightened if the individual has fair skin, as fair skin tends to be more susceptible to UV damage. Additionally, some people may experience a reaction to the chemicals used in the gel, which can also cause discomfort during the curing process.

Incorrect Application

Another reason why gel nails can hurt under UV light is due to incorrect application. If the gel is applied too thickly or not cured properly, it can cause heat spikes during the curing process. Heat spikes occur when the heat generated during the curing process is not dispersed evenly, causing a sudden increase in temperature that can be painful. This can also happen if the gel is not applied evenly or if the curing time is too long.

Overexposure to UV Light

Overexposure to UV light can also cause pain and discomfort when getting gel nails cured. Prolonged exposure to UV light can cause skin damage, including redness, peeling, and blistering. If the hands are left under the UV light for too long during the curing process, it can cause the skin surrounding the nails to become dry and irritated. Additionally, if the nails are not covered with enough gel or if the gel is not applied properly, the UV light can penetrate the nail bed and cause discomfort.

Preventing Pain and Discomfort During the Gel Nail Curing Process

Now that we understand the reasons why gel nails can hurt under UV light let’s explore what you can do to prevent this discomfort.

Use Protective Gloves

If you are sensitive to UV light, wearing protective gloves during the curing process can help prevent discomfort. The gloves will protect the skin surrounding the nails from the UV light, preventing any burning or stinging sensations. It’s essential to choose gloves that are specifically designed for use during the gel nail curing process, as regular gloves may not be thick enough to block the UV light.

Choose a Reputable Salon

Choosing a reputable salon is crucial to ensuring that the gel nails are applied correctly and that the curing process is done safely. A good salon will use high-quality products and ensure that the nails are cured correctly to prevent any pain or discomfort. It’s important to research the salon and read reviews before booking an appointment to ensure that they have a good reputation and that their clients are happy with their services.

Limit Your Exposure to UV Light

Limiting your exposure to UV light during the curing process can also help prevent pain and discomfort. If you are sensitive to UV light, ask the technician to cure your

nails in shorter intervals, rather than leaving them under the light for the full curing time. Additionally, you can ask the technician to cover your hands with a towel or cloth to block out any excess UV light.

Take Breaks

If you start to feel discomfort during the curing process, taking breaks can help alleviate the pain. Let the technician know that you need a break, and they can remove your hands from under the light for a few minutes. This will give your skin a chance to cool down and prevent any further discomfort.

Moisturize Your Hands

After the gel nails have been cured, it’s important to moisturize your hands and nails to prevent any dryness or irritation. Use a rich hand cream that contains natural ingredients, such as shea butter or coconut oil, to hydrate and nourish your skin. This will help prevent any cracking or peeling that can occur after the curing process.


In conclusion, gel nails can cause pain and discomfort under UV light for a variety of reasons, including sensitivity to UV light, incorrect application, and overexposure to UV light. However, there are several steps you can take to prevent this discomfort, including using protective gloves, choosing a reputable salon, limiting your exposure to UV light, taking breaks, and moisturizing your hands after the curing process. By following these tips, you can enjoy long-lasting and beautiful gel nails without any pain or discomfort.

Why do gel nails hurt under UV light?
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