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Does nail polish remover kill hair follicles ?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2277 Questions
I had surgery and medical glue was used on my incision. The glue was in my hair. I tried to use nail polish remover to help get the glue out. As I was trying to comb the glue out of my hair, I pulled a section of hair out. Some of the nail polish remover got on my scalp. Now, I am worried the hair won't grow back. Will the nail polish remover permanantly kill the follicle?
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query

Nail polish remover contains various agents like acetone, ethyl acetate, phthalic anhydride and butyl acetate. Indeed the damage depends upon the chemical constituents of the nail polish remover. Acetone is the commonest constituent used, it is believed to exhibit only slight toxicity in normal use, and there is no strong evidence of any chronic health effects if basic precautions are followed.

There is no study done to prove that the nail polish remover can damage the hair follicles. Well, there can be few side effects such as irritation due to defatting action on skin, redness, pain, drying and cracking of the skin. So no need to worry, the hairs can still grow from the area where it was pulled out, a small amount of nail polish remover cannot damage the hair follicles completely.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for your follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar
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