Gel nails typically hold color longer than acrylic nails. Although gel nails are more expensive then acrylics, they do not result in unattractive chipping as often as with acrylic nails. Gel nails are more flexible and therefore less likely to break when one accidentally hits them against a hard surface. When acrylic nails break off, the nail bed is exposed to possible bacteria or yeast infection, according to WebMD.
Unlike with acrylic nails, there is no odor when gel nails are being applied, notes WebMD. However, when gel nails are applied, they must be placed under a UV light for two minutes to harden each layer. WebMD explains that this can expose a person to a risk of skin cancer.
Gel nails are easier to remove than acrylic nails, because the gel is dissolved. According to Nail Care HQ, one can even learn how to do gel nails at home and avoid the expense of going to a technician for the process. Both acrylic nails and gel nails grow out with your fingernails, and they need to be filled every two to three weeks. Although acrylic nails have been around longer, gel nails are now gaining in popularity.