Press-On Nails Pain: What Causes It and How to Fix it?

Everyone loves comfort and ease, and when a product can offer this and even more, they go for it without hesitation! You can have pretty, professional nails without going to the salon or booking a session with a nail technician. And this is possible with press-on nails!

But then, people usually ask questions like, “Don’t press-on nails hurt?” or “How can I avoid hurting my natural nails after taking out my press-on nails?”

In this article, I’ll highlight what makes your nails hurt after attaching or taking out your press-on and how to handle the discomfort afterwards. 

How To Wear and Remove Press-on Nails the Right Way and Prevent Pain

Press-on nails are a great alternative to traditional acrylic or gel nails. They are easy to apply and remove and can be customized to fit any nail shape or size. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wear press-on nails:

  • Start by preparing your nails. File and shape them to your desired length and shape. Make sure to push back your cuticles and remove any excess oil or dirt from your nails.
  • Measure each press-on nail against your natural nails to find the best fit. If the press-on nails are too big, you can file them to the appropriate size. If they are too small, you can use a nail file to create a slight curve on the sides of your natural nails to help the press-on nail adhere better.
  • Apply a small amount of nail glue to the back of the press-on nail. Make sure to apply the glue evenly, avoiding the edges of the press-on nail.
  • Press the press-on nail onto your natural nail, and ensure it is centered and straight. Hold it for a few seconds to ensure the glue is dry.
  • Repeat the process for each nail. Ensure your hands are steady and avoid moving your fingers while the nails are drying.
  • Once all the press-on nails are applied, you can file and shape them as desired. You can add nail polish or other decorations to match your outfit or personal style.

To remove your press-on nails, soak your hands in warm water for a few minutes to loosen the glue. Gently pull the press-on nails off, starting from the corner.

With some practice, you’ll be able to apply and remove press-on nails easily. They are a great way to have perfect nails whenever you want, without the need to visit the nail salon.

Why Do My Press on Nails Hurt?

Press-on nails, also known as fake nails or artificial nails, can be a great way to achieve a polished and put-together look without the time and expense of going to a salon. However, some people may experience discomfort or pain when wearing press-on nails.

The following are reasons why your press-on may hurt you when you get them done:

  • One of the most common causes of discomfort or pain when wearing press-on nails is ill-fitting nails. If the nails are too large or too small for your natural nails, they can cause pressure or rubbing that can be uncomfortable or even painful. It’s vital to choose press-on nails that are the right size for your nails. And also, carefully file and shape them to fit your nails perfectly.
  • Another common cause of discomfort or pain when wearing press-on nails is poor adhesion. If the nails are not securely attached to your natural nails, they can shift or move around, causing rubbing or pressure. To ensure good adhesion, clean your natural nails thoroughly before applying the press-on nails, and use a strong adhesive to hold them in place.
  • Another reason press-on nails hurt is due to the material make-up. Some press-on nails are from hard, inflexible materials, which can be uncomfortable to wear. Others are from soft, flexible materials that can move and bend with your natural nails, reducing the risk of discomfort or pain.
  • Lastly, if you have any underlying nail condition, such as a fungal infection, eczema, psoriasis or even allergies, press-on nails can cause irritation and pain.

How To Fix Press-on Nails That Hurt

If your press-on nails still hurt, you can remove them and reapply them right after trimming them down to size and filing the edges. If that doesn’t relieve the pain, you would have to see a professional manicurist to find out what went wrong and could be causing you pain.

However, to further avoid pain and discomfort when wearing press-on nails, it’s crucial to: 

  • Choose the right size
  • Choose the right shape
  • Use the right adhesive
  • Consider the nail material

If you experience discomfort or pain when wearing press-on nails, it’s best to remove them and give your natural nails a break. It’s also a good idea to consult a dermatologist if you have any underlying nail conditions.

Opt for Sticky Pads instead of Glue!

Opting for sticky pads instead of traditional nail glue is a game-changer for a pain-free press-on nail experience. These mess-free, gentle adhesive solutions are not only quick and convenient but also perfect for those with sensitive skin.

They provide a secure and comfortable hold for your press-on nails, allowing you to enjoy stunning nail designs without the worry of discomfort or nail damage during application or removal.

How To Avoid Pain When Using Press-on Nails

When it comes to enjoying your press-on nails, there is a guide to help avoid pain. One is to file your nails down as thin as possible before applying the press-on. Doing this will help reduce the force needed to attach them and make them less likely to pop off.

You can also use a nail adhesive instead of glue to attach the nails, which will help them stay on longer. Finally, be sure to remove the press-on correctly by slowly peeling them off rather than pulling them quickly.


With press-on nails, it all boils down to how you fix it. Avoid fixing your nails in a hurry, as this could lead to more mistakes and possible pains. Painstakingly follow my guide above to stop those pains.