Athlete’s foot

An infection on the foot caused by fungus. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot exists on floors and it spreads easily through contact. Exposure to the fungus does not guarantee its growth; conditions must be right for the fungus to spread.


Acrylics refers to any of a group of clear, synthetic resins used to make plastics, paints, etc. Nail enhancements (or artificial nails) made by combining a liquid acrylic product (monomer) with a powdered acrylic product (polymer); the two products form a soft ball that can be molded into a nail shape that adheres well to the natural nail or a tip; once applied, the acrylic hardens into a strong artificial nail that can be filed and buffed to a high shine.

In 1934, Maxwell Lappe, a dentist in Chicago, created Nu Nails, an artificial fingernail for nail biters. In the early days of acrylic enhancements (late 1970s), most of what was available was coming out of dentists’ offices. The nails were thick and decidedly fake looking. Over the years, chemists have developed new technologies so that today, nail technicians can sculpt acrylic nails that are thin and more natural-looking.


Primers that contain absolutely no acid components at all.


A term referring to primers that contain methacrylic acid.


Single-cell, vegetable-like organisms; some bacteria are capable of causing disease.

Breathing zone

The two-foot-square area between a nail tech’s mouth and work area; the area wherein dust, vapours, and particles can be inhaled if a nail technician does not wear a mask or otherwise protect herself against exposure and inhalation.


A backfill is a technical term for doing a fill on a set of pink-and-whites; it is usually done with an electric file and involves taking down the surface of the nail so the smile line can be “re-created.”

C curve

The curvature or arch of a nail as seen when looking at the nail from the tip down.

Colored acrylics

Acrylic powders (polymers) that have been tinted with color; used with regular monomers to create custom color enhancements or “permanent” nail art.


Callus is a completely natural acquired, superficial, round, and thickened patch of epidermis caused by pressure or friction on the hands or feet. Heels and the balls of feet are especially prone to callus. While calluses serve a purpose to protect the underlying skin from damage, they are unsightly and can be painful. Severely callused skin can become so thick and dry that it cracks. For long-term positive results, nail professionals should employ a thorough treatment plan that encompasses removal and ongoing prevention.


Removal of the top layer of skin.


Microscopic plants such as mold, dermatophyte, and yeast; only two members of this family can form colonies in or under the natural nail and under artificial nails; one of these is a yeast called candida albicans and the other is a dematophyte called trichophyton rubrum; if improperly treated, they may lead to serious medical problems; the technical term for fungus is onychomycosis.

Ingrown nail

A condition of the fingers and toes in which the nail grows into the sides of the tissue around the nail; improper filing of the nail and poor-fitting shoes are two causes of this disorder.


An individual, reactive chemical unit that may be linked to one another to form a polymer; the liquid component in acrylic systems.

Methacrylic acid

An acidic and corrosive substance used in most types of acid-based nail primers.

Methyl methacrylate (MMA)

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) is an acrylic monomer found by the FDA in 1978 to be unsafe for use in nail products because of the health risk posed to manicurists by its use and because of its potential danger to clients because of its extreme adhesion.


Any coating created by fashioning acrylic, fiber wraps, or gels over the underlying nail or artificial nail tip.









Source: Nails Magazine