How many times have you run to your nail salon for a quick fix on your acrylic set? And how many times have you skipped that trip and opted to handle their maintenance on your own?

British beauty blogger Amelia Perrin went viral in 2016 when she posted a pic to Twitter of her mangled nails. The reason for the damage? She decided to undo her acrylic nails by herself and was left with bloodied, painful nail beds.

If you’ve had these before, then you know it takes a special touch to be able to remove them. You can really mess up your natural nails if you don’t go for routine fills or get them redone by a pro. And somewhere in there, you probably want to give your natural nails some time to breathe.

In her original post, Perrin admitted that she’d worn acrylics for six years straight with only a few weeks in there as a breather. After popping these off herself, she was left with weak, thinned out nails. Layers of keratin were gone.

Less than a week after sharing the first horrifying picture, Perrin reported that she took Biotin supplements and moisturized her nails with oils. Although not at 100%, there was a huge improvement.

Perrin wanted to share her experience as a cautionary tale. Not only did she want to make a point about not ripping off your false nails, but she wanted to stress that it’s okay to give acrylics a break. Prior to tearing hers off, her visits to her manicurist also revealed that her nails were thin.

Despite this frightening prospect, it is possible to care for your set at home. In between fill-ins every couple of weeks, make sure to wear gloves when doing housework, and go for an in-shop soak at least every 3 to 4 months. Some acrylic lovers prefer to get a new set at the 4-month mark.

Keep them clean with a nail brush to prevent an infection. Skipping a fill can expose your nails to breakage and infections, so be sure to go to a clean, reputable nail salon.

If your fake nails are removed incorrectly or without the proper materials, you could be looking at a situation like Amelia’s. Cheap adhesive could also be responsible for the level of damage to the nailbed, so be aware of the product your nail tech is using.

Should the urge to remove your fake nails yourself become too overpowering, pros recommend soaking them in acetone first. Don’t go ripping them off without any preparation. Amelia was fortunate that hers didn’t become infected even though they were bleeding.

There was a story a few months ago about a woman who tore off her acrylic nail and the thumbnail along with it. She ended up with sepsis. Yikes! The lesson here? Either skip the false nails or visit your nail shop for a wellness check!

Did the graphic picture above make you cringe? Have you had a bad experience with acrylic nails? What’s your manicure preference?