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Have craving for the smell of nail polish remover, which contains acetone. Blood test normal. Cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
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In the last 4-5 months I have noticed an incredible craving for the smell of my nail polish remover, which contains acetone. I went to have a physical and did have bloodwork done, but all I heard back was that my bloodwork was fine. What could be causing this craving? Thank you
Posted Sun, 4 Aug 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 1 hour later

Acetone has a very attractive fruity flavor so it causes natural craving for the smell. So it was not your fault in entirely. You will not have any physical damage. That was evident on your blood work up.

I suggest you should keep away from the nail polish and remover for some days. Do not buy them after this bottle or if possible do not go to that area of the store if you go on shopping. If you have craving you possible go and buy. So you have to keep yourself strong.

If required you can XXXXXXX a psychotherapist for behaviour therapy. They can guide you well.
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Follow-up: Have craving for the smell of nail polish remover, which contains acetone. Blood test normal. Cause? 3 hours later
It actually has a very chemical smell, not nutty or fruity. What about PICA? Or perhaps a vitamin deficiency such as zinc for the craving? XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 3 hours later
It is a good idea to test for anemia and supplement with zinc. You can get Hemoglobin test and Serum Ferrtin. If the values are not within limits then you can see a doctor for Iron supplements.

You can include a multivitamin and multimineral tablet available over the counter. You can approach the local pharmacy and the pharmacist will be able to guide you.

A person with PICA has cravings for a lot of non food items but it is not vice versa. My suggestion is to seek alternative nail removers which are herbal in nature than the acetone based one.

All the best.
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