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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Nail Paints - 3 Reasons You Must Stop Using Them!

Dr. Imran KazmiDermatologist • 16 Years Exp.MD - Dermatology, MBBS
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Research has shown that nail paint contains chemical substances that can be harmful to the body. These chemicals can enter the body through the pores of the nails. The health eradication is applicable for people who are applying on their nails and salon workers who apply nail art to their clients, day in and day out. Here is one must know before applying the beautiful shades of color on the nails:

What are the harmful agent present in nail paint?
There are three dangerous industrial chemicals that are mixed with nail paint that is dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde. Owing to their notorious health implications, these chemicals are known as toxic-trio. Toluene is used as a solvent in nail polish that aids smoother finish and holds the pigment together from separating inside the bottle. It, however, affects the reproductive system and the central nervous system. Similarly, dibutyl phthalate and formaldehyde can cause a problem in breathing, internal hemorrhage etc.

  1. Health Hazards: Regular to health care products-nail paint, in particular, can have a wide range of health implication. From skin irritation to an eye injury, allergic reaction to breathing problems once can face a lot of problems that are totally uncalled for. Research also indicate that regular exposure to nail paint crop up neurological problems, impair the process of body development, affect the reproductive system etc. Research conducted by the Cancer Prevention Institute, California showed that there is an increased risk of cancer for people who work at beauty care salon due to their increased exposure to beauty products.
  2. Problems related to pregnancy: Frequent nail paint can lead to a premature pregnancy. Some other problems related to pregnancy include undersized babies, spontaneous birth of the baby and preterm delivery. There have been too many instances of failed pregnancies witnessed among beauty salon workers. Some other symptoms that are related to mail paint exposure that is seen during pregnancy include chronic headaches, very low appetite, lethargy etc.
  3. Way forward: It is evident that nail paint can pose a serious threat to women in general. The best way to go forward is to choose a nail paint that has a low toxicity rating- preferably within 2. This can be a little challenging since most beauty products do not portray the toxicity rating. If the latter is not mentioned in the body of the product, go for a product, that states the absence of chemical product. Organic nail paints can be the best alternative to address the challenges of conventional nail paint.

However, the availability of organic nail paint is still a challenge. Not many companies sell it, the consumer base for these beauty products are thin as well. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!


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