Why Is My Nail Green Under Acrylic?

Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
By Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Updated on November 15, 2023

Getting acrylic nails is a popular way to enhance the appearance of natural nails. However, you may notice that your nails appear green underneath the acrylic after they have been on for a while. This discoloration can be cause for concern, so it’s important to understand what might be causing it and how to prevent it from happening.

Why is my nail green under acrylic nails?

The most common reason your nails may appear green underneath acrylic nails is due to a chemical reaction between the natural nail and certain nail products. Acrylic nails are made of a polymer that is bonded to the natural nail using a bonding agent, usually a liquid monomer. Over time, this monomer can seep underneath the nail and bond with keratin in the nail plate. The monomer contains chemicals like methyl methacrylate that react with keratin, causing the nail to take on a greenish color.

Potential causes of green nails

Specifically, the monomer binding agent used during the acrylic application can be the primary cause of green nails. Poor ventilation during the application process allows more fumes from the monomer to reach the nail bed. Using thicker layers of acrylic that take longer to cure also increases exposure. In some cases, an allergic reaction to components in acrylic products like formaldehyde can discolor the nail.

How to prevent green nails

To reduce the risk of green nails under acrylics, it’s important to address potential causes. Make sure acrylic application is done in a well-ventilated area to avoid prolonged exposure to fumes. Ask your nail tech to use thin, breathable layers of acrylic that cure quickly. Consider gel or silk wrap alternatives that use less harsh chemicals. Use nail strengtheners or hardeners before application to add a protective barrier. And see your tech regularly for fill-ins instead of letting nails grow out completely between visits.


In most cases, green discoloration under acrylic nails is not serious or long-lasting. However, it’s still an unwanted cosmetic issue. With proper application steps, ventilation, and communication with your nail tech, you can help prevent chemical exposure and subsequent green nails. Don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns or try gentler enhancements if it persists.

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