At 36 years old, the mum-of-two had spent most of her adult lifetime getting gel manicures and acrylics.
Dewey, an NHS worker from Pattishall, Northamptonshire, noticed something was wrong following a routine nail appointment in February of this year.
A couple of days after getting a gel manicure, Dewey noticed her nails were peeling away from her nail bed.
“It happened suddenly; I feared I might even lose a finger when it went purple around the nail,” Dewey remembered.
“I feared it might be starved of oxygen. But it ended up being something completely different.”
Her doctor diagnosed Dewey with a bacterial infection that was cleared by antibiotics and steroid cream.
Having had her gel manicure removed, and the worrisome symptoms sorted by medication, Dewey believed the reaction was over.
Then, after getting a pair of acrylics put on in April, her fingernails began lifting from her nail bed once again.
“This has knocked my confidence so much,” Dewey said. “It’s just embarrassing to have hands like this.”
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Now Dewey believes she has had an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the nail polish.
The sore reaction has impacted Dewey’s everyday life when it comes to looking after her two daughters.
The youngest, for example, who is only three years old, needs the support of her mum.
“Washing my daughter’s hair is hard because you have to bend your fingers,” Dewey cringed.
“Even strapping her in the car… if I catch my finger on the belt, I jolt from the pain because the skin is raw.
“It gets so aggravated but wearing gloves doesn’t even help because sweaty hands aggravate it too.”
Dewey is adamant that she will never get her nails done again, fearing the reaction will happen again.
Most recently, dermatologists have warned about the severe reactions to chemicals in gel and acrylic manicures.
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