How To Get Nail Glue Off The Skin

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Nail glues are commonly used to apply fake nails. They are fast-drying and fairly safe on the skin. However, nail glue in contact with natural fibers like cotton causes a chemical reaction and can result in severe burn injuries (1), (2), (3). Therefore, nail glue stuck on your skin can be a reason for worry. This article guides you through the right ways to remove nail glue from your skin. Scroll down for more information.

How To Remove Nail Glue From The Skin

You can remove nail glue with nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, and petroleum jelly. While it is easy to remove super glue from the hands and areas with harder skin, for delicate areas like the lips or eyelids, seek expert medical advice. Check out the simple ways to get nail glue off your skin.

1. Soap And Water

You Will Need

  • Mild soap
  • Lukewarm water
  • Moisturizer

Directions

  1. Mix the soap with warm water.
  2. Soak your hands in this solution for 15 minutes or as long as it takes the glue to come off.
  3. Apply the moisturizer to prevent dryness and soothe your skin.

2. Acetone-Based Nail Polish Remover

You Will Need

  • A cotton swab or cotton ball
  • Acetone-based nail polish remover

Instructions

  1. Apply the nail polish remover to the affected region with the cotton ball.
  2. Wait a few minutes for the product to sink in and dissolve the nail glue.
  3. Apply petroleum jelly to keep the skin moisturized.

Note: It is essential to protect your nails or skin while using acetone. You can apply cuticle creams and olive oil and intake of biotin supplements. Also, use an acetone nail polish remover in areas without any skin damage, as it can cause dryness and irritate the skin.

3. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly helps remove dried glue spots easily from the skin. This moisturizer can also treat dry, rough, scaly, and itchy skin, and mild irritations.

You Will Need

  • Water
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Soap

Directions

  1. Massage the affected site with petroleum jelly in a circular motion for a few minutes.
  2. Wait for the glue to soften and separate from the skin without pulling.
  3. Wash the region with soap and water.
  4. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to lock the skin moisture.

4. Hand Lotions

You Will Need

  • Hand lotion
  • Soap
  • Water

Directions

  1. Apply the hand lotion to the affected region and massage in circular motions.
  2. Repeat this until the adhesive starts to peel away.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water to remove any residual glue.
  4. Apply the hand cream to seal in moisture and rejuvenate your skin.

5. Salt

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Water

Directions

  1. Mix the salt and water to form a thick paste.
  2. Massage your skin with this paste for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Continue to rub the salt until the glue breaks down. The salt will dissolve quickly, removing any traces of glue along the way.

Note: Avoid this method if you have sensitive skin, as salt may scrape and irritate it and make it dry.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

You Will Need

  • Alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Toothbrush
  • Soap water

Instructions

  1. Soak the affected region in warm soapy water to soften the skin.
  2. Cover your nails with cotton balls and secure them with strong tape.
  3. Soak your fingertips in a bowl of rubbing alcohol for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Pull the tape gently from your fingers and twist it around the nails to loosen it.
  5. Dip the toothbrush in alcohol and brush any residual glue off your fingertips.
  6. Wash the area with soapy water.

7. Pumice Stone

You Will Need

  • Pumice stone
  • Soapy water

Directions

  1. Soak the area in warm soapy water.
  2. Immerse the pumice stone in warm water and rub the area in a circular motion until the super glue is gone.

You need to be extra careful while handling super glue. Follow these precautionary measures to remove nail glue from your skin safely.

Precautions And Warnings

  • Do not tear the skin off with force or pick at it, as this might harm the skin and develop a painful blister.
  • Never use sharp objects, such as razors, nail filers, blades, or knives, to remove nail glue.
  • Peeling off the skin is not recommended if you have a lot of glue on your hands or sensitive skin.
  • Touching wet glue will spread it even further. Hence, it is best to wait until the adhesive has dried before removing it. Grab the edges of the dry glue with your fingertips or tweezers and pull it away carefully.
  • If you cannot get a hold of the edge, rub it with a nail file or buffer to loosen it up.

If your skin is broken, chapped, or inflamed, do not use any strong cleansers or abrasives to remove super glue. Instead, you can follow these steps:

  1. Use a mild soap and water to wash the affected skin.
  2. Apply petroleum jelly to the wound.
  3. Cover with a bandage and wait for it to recover.
  4. If there is redness, discomfort, or swelling, consult a doctor.

Conclusion

Try to keep nail glue away from the eyes and mouth. If you have ingested super glue, rinse your mouth with water and see a doctor immediately. Specific glues are flammable, and you must keep your skin away from stoves, ovens, hair dryers, and other hot surfaces. Never try to remove super glue from the skin with a lighter or match. Try the methods mentioned in this article to get rid of nail glue from your skin.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How long does nail glue last on the skin?

The glue might stay on the skin for 3-5 days if left untouched.

Is nail glue harmful?

No. Nail glue is harmless and fairly safe on the skin. However, it may cause mild allergic reactions or skin irritations if you do not treat the area properly.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Burns and beauty
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680280/
  2. Full thickness burns caused by cyanoacrylate nail glue: A case series
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26777605/
  3. Cyanoacrylate Nail Glue and the Pajama Catalyst
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32803269/
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).