Can You Have Acrylic Nails During Surgery – Expert Opinion

Can you have acrylic nails during surgery
Acrylic nails are popular extension nails that people have nowadays. But can you have acrylic nails during surgery? You might be surprised at the answer!

Nails are a very important part of our body that people are beautifying in many ways. Nail arts, manicures, and pedicures have become very common in this century. Many people are going for these nail treatments to make their nails more noticeable and exclusive. Some desire for adding length to their nails while others desire shiny and glittery nails. Based on their preferences, they go for this treatment or nail art. Acrylic nails are also a type of nail extension that became popular for its long-lasting formula.

So, can you have acrylic nails during surgery? Though acrylic nails do not cause any major harm during the surgery, it is always recommended to remove your acrylic nails. The main reason is that the nails can interfere with the monitoring process and can cause risks of infection or chemical contamination. If you don’t remove your acrylic nails, it may be difficult for you to track the blood flow or oxygen level of your body. Still, some people who do not want to remove their acrylics can go for other alternatives which might be a surprise!

What are Acrylic Nails?

What are acrylic nails

Acrylic nails are a type of artificial nail extension made from a combination of a liquid and powder polymer. This mixture is applied to the natural nails and then shaped and polished to create a shiny and durable finish.

Acrylic nails can be customized in terms of shape, length, design, and color. This can last up to several weeks with proper maintenance. This nail become very popular among people who want to increase the appearance of their nails or who have difficulty growing their natural nails. Acrylic nails have been used for a long time. But, some new dimensions, designs, and patterns have been seen in recent years. If you want to enlarge your nails a bit, Acrylic can be a good choice. Besides adding length to your nails, Acrylic nails can also add strength and style to your nails. There are different ways to apply this nail depending on the look you desire.

Can I Wear Acrylic Nails During Surgery?

Can I wear acrylic nails during surgery

In most surgeries, it is recommended not to wear any type of nail polish including acrylic nails. The nail polishes contain ingredients that may lead to infection. Because of the acrylics, the oximeter probe also may not work properly which will result in misinformation during the operation.

The oximeter probe is the most reliable way to check the blood oxygen level. This is a very common thing to do before or after any surgery. Acrylics can cause problems in checking the oxygen level during surgery. Placing the oximeter correctly is the main reason you shouldn’t wear acrylics during surgery. Besides this, the color of the natural nails is very important for the doctor to predict the blood flow or health condition. If you have acrylics, the doctor may not predict correctly. The acrylic nails can also cause dirt and debris under them. The dirt can further lead to infection or complicated consequences.  So, you should remove your acrylics for your safety and get the best surgery. It is better to remove all the layers of your nail polish to get your surgery perfectly done.

6 Reasons Why You Should Remove Acrylic Nails For Surgery

Reasons why you should remove acrylic nails for surgery

Before you go for surgery, you must remove your nail polish or acrylic nails. There are some reasons why you should remove your acrylics before surgery.

1. Risk of Chemical Contamination

The surface of your nails may absorb the chemicals from the products you use. When the sterile procedures of the surgery will be done, this can lead to chemical contamination. The risk can be high enough in some cases. As a result, doctors generally ban all cosmetics including makeup, nail polish, and other cosmetic products. Removing nail polish will help you to prevent contamination of the surgical area.

2. Can Interfere with the Accuracy of the Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter requires light waves to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood. If you have acrylics on your nails, the heart rate and blood pressure may not be measured correctly. If you have acrylics, it can interfere with the accuracy of these devices. Because the oximeter cannot read the thickness of your nails and determine the oxygen level. The accuracy of the pulse oximeter gets affected because of acrylics or any other gel nails.

3. Reaction Gets Worse in Skin with Allergy or Sensitivity

In an operating room, people with sensitivity or allergies may face more severe situations than usual. This can also pose threats or risks to the people around you including doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

4. Risk of Infection

Surgery always carries some risk of infection. Acrylic nails can grow bacteria, fungi, and some other microorganisms that increase the risk of infection. For minimizing the risk of infection, you must ensure that the nails are clean and free from acrylics.

5. Interfere with the Blood Flow Tracking Method

The color of our natural nails is one of the most significant indicators for doctors to know our health condition.  The color of our natural nails can give an idea about the blood flow that further helps to track our health condition and others.

6. Oxygen Level Monitoring

Doctors or nurses need to monitor the oxygen level. Monitoring oxygen levels during the procedure ensures safety throughout the surgery. Wearing acrylics can interfere with the oxygen monitoring process.

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3 Options If You Don’t Want to Remove Acrylic Nails

Options if you Don’t want to remove acrylic nails

Some people do not prefer removing their nail polish or acrylic nails. For them, there are some alternatives and options available that may not require removing their nails.

1. Using Modern Equipment

You need to remove your acrylic nails before going to surgery when you are using an oximeter. Because you may not be able to read the oxygen level with nail polish. If you are a nail polish lover and don’t want to remove your nail polish, then you may go for other modern equipment like a pulse oximeter. When using a pulse oximeter, you need to remove the acrylics for a maximum of two fingers. As a result, it won’t ruin your whole nail look and won’t cost you that much to replace the nails.

2. Use Other ways to Monitor Blood Flow

There may be other ways to monitor or measure your blood flow. For example-the medical professionals can use a non-polished toenail or monitor from the head or neck. Another option is, drawing blood though it is time-consuming. If you have acrylic nails and don’t want to remove them for your surgery, you can use other ways to monitor or check the blood flow.

3. Remove Acrylic Nail Polish on One or Two Fingers

One of the options that the nurses or doctors give to the patients is removing the acrylic nail polish from two fingers. This helps to give health professionals an open finger on each side. This is how you can keep your acrylics and give them access to do their job too. Consult with your doctor first before taking any decision like this.


1. Can you wear fake nails when getting surgery?

You should not wear fake nails during surgery. Because it may interfere to measure the oxygen levels in your blood when the oximeter is placed on your body.

2. Can you have acrylic nails during a C-section?

No, no nail polishes including gel or acrylic nails are allowed during a C-section. This will affect the monitoring process of oxygen or blood flow in the patient’s body.

3. Are acrylic nails safe?

Acrylic nails became a popular choice that does not have any serious health effects till now. In some cases, it may cause nail damage, irritation, allergic reactions, nail thinning, and so on.

4. How long should I wait to remove nail polish before surgery?

You must remove your nail polish at least 24 hours before your surgery. This will allow your nails to become normal and make it easier to start the surgery.

5. What are the risks of wearing nail polish during surgery?

There are no major risks of wearing nail polish during surgery. But, it is very important to remove the nail polish before surgery because it may interfere with your monitoring process.

Final Thoughts

Acrylic nails are a popular nail extension that is a combination of a liquid and powder polymer. These nails are found in different shapes, lengths, colors, and patterns. This is one of the best ways to add length to your nails. Generally, it is recommended not to have acrylic nails during surgery. There are some reasons behind this. Acrylic nails should be removed because there is a risk of chemical contamination, sensitivity, risk of infection, and so on. Some people do not require removing their acrylic nails as they are costly and time-consuming. They can follow alternative ways like using other equipment or removing acrylics from just one or two fingers.

Key Points

  • Acrylic nails are extension nails that add length to our nails with a soft and shiny finish.
  • This is always recommended to avoid wearing acrylic nails during surgery as this can interfere with the process.
  • It is better to remove all the layers of your nails as this can cause infection or irritation to your skin.
  • The major reasons why you remove acrylic nails are the risk of chemical contamination, risk of infection, interference with blood flow, and so on.
  • People who don’t want to remove their acrylics for surgery can go for modern equipment or any other way.

✨ Next Attraction: How Thick Should Acrylic Nails Be [11 Ways]

How thick should acrylic nails be

How Thick Should Acrylic Nails Be [11 Ways]

To get thick acrylic nails, the ideal thickness of the acrylic nails will be as similar to a business card, but it depends on which type of shape you are getting on.

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