woman speaking with caption 'WARNING: if you're considering Gel-x nails please watch this' (l) woman curing gel manicure under lamp (c) woman speaking with caption 'Going to spare you the details but look up gel-x allergy if you wanna see what it looks like' (r)

Iryna Imago/Shutterstock @lutinii/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘If I had known what would happen I would’ve never done them’: Woman warns of Gel-X nails after suffering allergic reaction

‘I don’t think it should even be allowed.’


Brooke Sjoberg


Gel-x, or gel extensions, are similar to typical acrylic extensions, with more flexibility and fewer chemical processes involved. They have gained popularity in recent years among nail technicians because they do not generate as much powder as acrylics, but some customers who received the extensions are saying they are allergic to the compounds required.

One such customer, TikTok user @lutinii, said she had a serious reaction to the gel extensions that may have lifelong consequences.

She said that when she went to her local nail salon to get her typical dip powder manicure done, the employees asked her if she wanted to try a new manicure method that the salon was offering, Gel-x.

When she agreed to try the Gel-x nails, her technician asked her if she would be OK with the amount of burning expected to happen when curing the nails.

‘I sit down to get them done, and the girl who’s about to do them, she’s like, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’” she says. “I was like, ‘yeah, why not?’ And she’s like, ‘Well, I don’t know, I just want to make sure you’re sure about this,’ and she’s explaining it and didn’t seem so sure about it. She was like, ‘I’ve mastered it but just be aware that it can be really painful.’ That’s when I should have said, ‘OK, never mind.’”

Deciding she could handle the amount of pain described by the technician, she moved forward with the Gel-x manicure.

“I figured I’m in a nail salon, they know what they’re doing,” she said. “She ends up doing them, she’s curing them, it’s burning a little bit but it’s nothing too crazy.”

After leaving the salon, her nails which appeared fine swiftly began to itch. Out of caution, she went back to the salon to have the extensions removed. In the days after, her cuticles swelled and started to ooze pus.

“It’s been two weeks now and they’re getting a little bit better,” she says in the video. “I’ve been putting antibacterial cream on them. The reaction that I’ve had, from what I’ve read, is like a lifelong thing now. I probably can’t get my nails done and it can affect other things. It’s crazy. This is really concerning, and quite frankly I don’t think it should even be allowed.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @lutinii via Instagram direct message regarding the video.

@lutinii PLEASE watch this if you’re considering Gel-x nails. #gelxnails #gelallergy #gelallergicreaction ♬ original sound – Dani | Pickle Connoiseur

Some commenters suggested that the technician may not have cured the gel all the way, or that the process was otherwise botched.

“They for sure didn’t do something right,” one commenter wrote. “I’ve been doing my own Gel X nails for two years. Wishing you a speedy recovery.”

“I been getting gel x for over 2 years now and no issues,” another user shared. “I think those nail techs don’t know what they are doing.”

“Blame the nail techs that did ur nails not gel x as a whole, i’ve gotten them and no issues,” one viewer wrote.

Nail technicians and customers alike shared that they had observed similar allergic reactions to under-cured gel. Some said they had reactions with other types of nail treatments, such as dip powder and acrylic, but not Gel-x.

“Sounds like you developed an allergic reaction, probably from uncured gel,” one commenter wrote. “I get this reaction to dip and acrylic. I can only do gel and gel-x now.”

“I had a reaction to dip so I changed to doing gelx on myself,” another said. “Lucky no issues.”

“I would love to know what brand they use,” a commenter wrote. “A lot of times allergic reaction to happen if they’re not properly cured. Or it could be the product.”

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