Sore Nails After Acrylics – 9 Common Issues Resolved!

Acrylic nails tend to be appealing, and are perfect for improving the durability of your nails. However, like any other frequent user, you might have experienced surprising sore nails after the acrylics issue. 

Fortunately, it’s a common problem, and this guide will be looking at all your need to know about it.

Ready to get started? Let us dive into it:

Why Do Acrylic Nails Hurt the First Day?

There are various reasons why acrylic nails might hurt the first day, and this might include the following reasons:

Reason #1. Excessive Filing 

how to heal damaged nails after acrylics
Source: Unsplash.

The first recommendation in how to help sore nails after acrylics involves the use of a sanding tool, to help make the surface of the nail ready. It’s a process that’s akin to the way a carpenter often has to sand surfaces, before setting products such as glue. 

The sanding process helps ensure the nail has the right surface area for setting nail glue for acrylics. 

If you are new to this process, you might find it somewhat uncomfortable on your hands. Fortunately, the pain from such an issue often subsides after a few days. 

The discomfort might also arise when the nail technician fails to use the right sanding techniques on your nails. You or the nail technician have to be careful when filing to ensure the best results.

Nail treatment is a delicate process, and it’s crucial for you to be cautious to avoid causing long-term damage to the nails.

Solution: Ensure you learn how to do nail filing correctly. It’s not easy to explain the required density in text, so we recommend that you use the youtube video we have recommended in the link. Or, you can also get in touch with a professional nail service provider for more assistance.

Reason #2. Inconsistent Acrylic Nail Density 

paper thin nails after acrylics
Source: Unsplash.

One of the keys to success in applying acrylic nails involves getting the density right. Usually, nail care professionals are aware of this fact, which is not necessarily common to novices. Applying excessive acrylics to the nails can easily lead to soreness. 

The acrylics might place significant weight on your natural nails, and this can lead to significant or long-term discomfort. 

It might also lead to pain complications because nails aren’t often used for excessive weight. The pain will only be present up until your nails get accustomed to the weight, which can take a few hours. 

Solution: Remove the acrylic nails completely, and set a new layer after four or five days . Ensure you also use nail moisturizers and strengtheners to restore the health of your nails. 

Reason #3. Unusual Body Response

how to take off painful acrylic nails without acetone
Source: Unsplash.

You never know the specific way your body might respond to the presence of a foreign item, and this includes acrylics. 

People who have encountered paper-thin nails after acrylics are also likely to have experienced such issues.

One of the likely reactions your body will have to acrylics is a sense of discomfort, especially if you are new to the process. 

The reason is that acrylic products sometimes feel heavy, especially when you failed to apply them correctly. 

Solution: While acrylic nails are likely to cause some discomfort, they should eventually subside. You can also consult with a nail technician or other users for more insight into their experiences with acrylics. 

Reason #4. Inconsistency in Pushing Back Your Cuticles

home remedies to heal nails after acrylics
Source: Unsplash.

If you want to create room for acrylics to sit comfortably and stably on your nails, pushing back your cuticles is crucial. 

The cuticle refers to the flesh that exists around the nails, and pushing them is a process you can perform using specialized nippers. 

The goal of this process is to provide sufficient space for you to set the acrylics. Once you push the cuticle back and remove the flesh around it, this process can easily lead to pain.

Solution: Apply some cuticle oil and acetone to your nails beforehand. Then, repeat this procedure once you complete the application process. 

Reason#5. Small Nail Density 

how to relieve pain from acrylic nails
Source: Unsplash.

While rare, the issue of having a small nail density is not uncommon among the average nail product user. Usually, the main reason that causes the nail plate to be so small depends on various factors. 

Some of the common reasons include a poor diet, nail-biting, fungi, and excessive use of nail care products. Setting acrylics on nails that have a small density becomes prone to this health issue.

Solution: The best solution for having brittle nails depends on the main cause. If it’s a health issue, then consider a calcium or biotin treatment. If it’s due to nail biting of fungi, improve your nail care routine. 

Reason #6. Excessive Pressure

how long will my nails hurt after getting acrylics
Source: Unsplash.

It’s not unusual to encounter novice nail users who aren’t accustomed to the right amount of pressure to use when setting nails. 

Sections of the nails, such as the free edge, and cuticles are prone to excessive pressure issues. 

While acrylic nails are durable, they tend to be prone to pressure, especially during the early application days. Setting your nails in a cool dry place can also be perfect for acrylic nails.

Solution: Be careful when setting the acrylics on your nails, and be patient. Ensure you inform your nail technician if you come across any pain or discomfort when applying the acrylics.

Reason #7. Using Poor Quality Nail Glue 

why do my nails hurt after removing gel nails
Source: Unsplash.

While nail glue is an important resource for applying acrylics, not all of them are suitable for your nails. 

Some nail glue products contain harsh chemicals, which can easily cause damage to the structure of your nails.

Using low-quality nail care and application process can also be a common cause of this issue. The reason is that these glues often contain chemicals that brands use to help improve the supposed quality of their products.

Unfortunately, the poor-quality glue often eventually leads to significant damage to the nail structures of its users. 

Solution: Ensure you research thoroughly beforehand, when investing in nail glue products. Plus, ensure you perform the correct nail care process for the longevity of your nails.

Reason #8 The Average Drying Time for Acrylics 

One of the key functions you have to perform when using acrylics is to set the under UV lights. You have to do this to help ensure the curing process of the nails goes as required. 

However, the light from the UV can sometimes cause slight discomfort, depending on the structure of the nails and general health.

Solution: Give your nails some time to heal and recover from the use of acrylic products. Also, use products such as disinfectants, biotin, and moisturizer to restore the health of your nails. 

Reason #9. Nail Bed Damage 

The process of repairing and preparing the nail bed can lead to structural damage, which is sometimes difficult to detect. 

The issue can be particularly difficult to detect when your nail technician is not competent with this process.

Usually, people have damaged nails, which is one of the reasons for consulting a technician to cover them using artificial alternatives. 

Issues such as pressure or nail trauma are also notable for causing damage to the nail bed. 

Solution: Remove all acrylics from your nails, and let them rest for a few days. Use products such as acetone-based cleaners and moisturizers to help you complete this process.

Best Products for Sore Nails After Acrylics 

Below are some of the “A MUST HAVE” products if you are just experiencing sore nails after acrylics issue:

  1. Abreva Docosanol 1 Percent Cream Cold Sore Treatment

No more pain after acrylics when you have the Abreva Docosansol cream sore treatment. It also comes in two 7 oz tubes which can guarantee longevity. 

The five-blister cream also contains docosanol which helps to address sores with exceptional results. It also contains a healing cream that reduces the duration of pain, burning, and itching issues. 


  • It contains docosanol 1 percent which helps to manage sore nails
  • Healing cream helps address tingling, pain, and burning issues.
  • The amply sized tube provides longevity and ease of use.


  • N/A
  1. Nail-Aid Keratin 3-Day Growth Nail Treatment & Strengthener

We also recommend the Nail Aid Keratin 3 Day Growth Nail Treatment and Strengthener. Its a product that contains keratin which works well to build or restore the strength of your nails. It also contains a powerful blend of amino acids which can get deep into the skin.

The three-day growth formula also guarantees visible improvement with results being accurate in as little as three days. The quick dry formula also guarantees longevity and ease of use.


  • Contains keratin which is a hardening protein that absorbs easily into the skin.
  • The 3-day growth formula guarantees health and hardy nails.
  • It has a quick dry formula that produces an ultra-hard finish for longevity.


  • Could use a larger-sized bottle.
  1. Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream with Coconut Scent Nail Strengthener

Third on our list is the Hard as Hool Nail Strengthening Cream. It contains a proven formula that has been popular for nail conditioning for up to 2 decades. The formula in this product can prevent splits, peels, cracks, and other issues.

It also helps to stop soft and fragile nails from experiencing long-term damage. The unique formula also gives nails high endurance and it’s coconut-scented for a much better scent.


  • Proven nail strengthening formula guarantees longevity.
  • It contains nutrients such as calcium, vitamins and hydrogenated jojoba oil.
  • The formula works well to make nails soft and hydrated.


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  1. AIRSEE Portable Electric Nail Drill Professional Efile Nail Drill Kit For Acrylic

Improve your nail care kit with the Portable Electric Nail File Kit, which features various types of drill bits. 

These include 11pcs of 3/32” drill bits and over 50 sanding bands. Its also a multifunctional unit that performs functions such as cutting, polishing, and gel removal. 

The portable and compact design means you can carry this unit along to anywhere you want to go. It also has a forward and reverse rotation function for optimal convenience. 


  • It comes with 11pcs of shanks and over 50 sanding bands.
  • The adjustable speed and direction make this unit convenient to use.
  • It also features high-quality metal and a compact design.


  • The drill bits require replacement at some point.

How to Take Sore Acrylics Without Acetone

Source: Unsplash.

The most reliable technique for removing acrylics without acetone is to use some water mixed with some salt. 

Soak your fingers in a container for a few minutes, and wait for the acrylics to become soft. Water and salt are popular for being helpful home remedies to heal nails after acrylics.

You also have the option of using some cuticle oil, which works exceptionally well for softening the nails. 

Once all the acrylics come off, clean your nails again with some water and salt. Then apply some moisturizer to your fingers, and let them sit undisturbed for a few weeks.

The other helpful but uncommon technique that you can use involves dental floss. It’s a technique that only works well when your acrylics have become loose. Remember to keep track of the health and recovery process of your nails after this process. 

So, what if someone asks, how to relieve pain from acrylic nails? Tell them to get some painkillers, and ease any tasks that can cause discomfort or trauma to the nails. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why Do My Nails Hurt after Removing Acrylics?

There are various reasons why nails hurt after removing acrylics. Some common reasons include excessive pressure, fungi, lack of hygiene, and excessive filling. The solution for each problem depends on the recommendations of your nail technician.

How Do I Heal My Nails after Acrylics?

You have several options for healing your nails after acrylics, and it usually involved a specific set of solutions. Ensure you disinfect the nails, apply some biotin oil or conditioner, and then let the nail sit for a few days undisturbed.

How Long Does It Take for Nails to Recover after Acrylics?

It takes about 3-5 days for nails to recover after acrylics. The reason is that the nails have to receive nutrition from the body in the form of calcium deposits, and vitamins. It also takes time for the cuticles and sidewalls to grow back fully.

How Do I Stop My Nails from Hurting?

There are various ways you can stop your nails from hurting. The first step is to ensure you set them and ensure you don’t disturb your nails through excessive pressure or damage. Also, ensure you use the right nail health care plan for longevity purposes.

Why Do My Nails Hurt When I Press On Them?

The common cause of nails hurting when you press on them is excessive pressure or trauma. However, it could also be due to issues such as fungi, nail-biting, and excessive use of chemical-based nail care products.

There are various reasons why you may have sore nails after removing acrylics. It could be due to poor filing, nail care, or health. Fortunately, the solutions mentioned above should be helpful for managing such an occurrence next time.

Katharyn Riedel

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