Generally, acrylic nails do not ruin natural nails, according to Mayo Clinic. However, occasionally, acrylic nails can result in an infection or an allergic reaction.
Sometimes acrylic nails become damaged, and when damage occurs, moist air can become trapped within the space between the acrylic and natural nails. If this happens, infection may occur. Signs of an infection include swelling of the nail and surrounding tissue, redness, pain and pus.
Those who wear acrylic nails can lower the risk of infection by allowing their natural nails to "breathe" every couple of months, and by only visiting nail salons that are inspected by the state. The technician should sterilize all nail tools and wash his or her hands between customers.