Is it a bad idea to wear nail polish all year round?

Last update: 19 September 2021

Is it a bad idea to wear nail polish all year round?

What better way to spend the summer than in lovely sandals with the color of the day painted on your toes? Nail polish is an important element of many people’s everyday beauty routines. Is it, however, dangerous to wear it on your toenails all year, and if so, why? Learn more about nail polish and its effects on the health of your feet in this article.

Everything you need to know about nail polish

Nail polish is a chemical substance that is both beautiful and vibrant. It is, like any other type of “paint,” a blend of chemical agents that, in the long term, may be harmful or even poisonous to the nails and, as a result, to one’s overall health.

Mineral pigments and resins are found in the majority of varnishes. To aid in the application and hardening of the nail polish, hardeners (silicon) and solvents (acetone, formaldehyde, toluene, and ethyl acetate) are added to the formula.

The nail, on the other hand, is porous. As a result, it does not provide a barrier that prevents chemical components from entering the metabolism.

The dangers of nail polish for your feet

When it comes to nail polish, it’s difficult to see everything in pink! Cosmetic producers are obligated to declare any substances used in a product in Canada, but they are not required to reveal any potential health risks. As a result, it is important for users to educate themselves on the dangers of excessive usage and the potential health consequences.

The following are the three compounds found in nail polish that have been linked to a variety of illnesses:

  • Phthalates: used to prevent nail polish from becoming brittle or crumbly, they enter the body through contact. They’re thought to be endocrine disruptors and reproductive system toxins.
  • Formaldehyde: used in nail hardeners, it is identified as a carcinogen.
  • Toluene: used as a solvent, it poses risks of headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and loss of consciousness during prolonged exposure. It’s worth noting that toluene is responsible for the varnish’s unique odor.

According to studies, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), an endocrine disruptive chemical, is used to substitute phthalates in a range of nail paint products. TPHP is used in nail polish to soften the texture and make it more durable.

Our podiatrists’ nail polish recommendations

Is it necessary to avoid nail polish at all costs? No! There’s no harm in having a pedicure now and then if our feet are in good shape. Nail paint, when worn in moderation, has everything to appeal to people who enjoy fashionable toes!

Nail polish is a chemical product that should be used with full understanding of the facts, even if it does not pose an immediate health danger. Our podiatrists have offered the following suggestions:

  • Allow your nails to rest for a brief period of time. Let at least one or two days between applications for your nails to breathe.
  • Better yet, don’t put nail polish on your toes throughout the fall and winter months to allow your nails to regrow color.
  • Choose non-toxic nail polishes that don’t include any potentially harmful chemicals.
  • When it comes to nail polish remover, go for a non-acetone product.

Also, if you leave nail polish on for too long, it may dry up and damage your nails. Excessive nail polish use also obscures any discoloration of the nail (white, yellow, or brown), which is one of the signs of nail fungus.

PiedReseau: experts ready to help with all of your foot issues

In the summer and spring, nail paint is fantastic, but only in moderation! If you detect discolouration, thickness, or a change in the form of your nails, don’t hesitate to see a podiatrist for a diagnosis. PiedReseau brings together a diverse group of health specialists from all around Quebec to provide you with the best podiatric treatment possible.

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