Yes it can. Hybrid gels (e.g. Shellac, Gelish, Axxium) can cause significant weakness in the nails as well as leave you prone to fungal infections, onycholysis (lifting of the nails) and tearing.
This year i have seen a number of shellac related nails problems. I have had to super glue torn nails for blushing brides, given plenty antifungal treatment advice to those who's nails have suddenly lifted off the nail bed as well as painlessly removed several nails that have fallen off all together leaving them at risk of future ingrown nails. It must be noted that this damage occurred in otherwise healthy feet!
In some ways shellac is less damaging than acrylics that needed to be filed off for removal, but as proven by a recent study shellacs can in fact cause significant weakness, thinning and brittleness of toe nails. In one measurement, the nail was measured to be about 50% thinner!
The people who ran this study were unsure of whether it's the chemicals in the polish, or the application/removal process with harsh chemicals and acetone that damages the nail, however in my experience i have seen this damage on people shortly after their first application suggesting it is more likely the chemicals or application rather than the removal.
When considering if you should be applying shellac or gels to your toes, consider how important keeping the polish on for 6 weeks really is. As for those who have thinner nails to begin with, extra care should be taken!
- Nail Problems
- Ingrown toenails
- Fungal Nails