If you sometimes remove your polish - this is a WARNING for you!

Hello beautiful readers! I am so sorry for disappearing like that. It was completely un-planned! Sadly, there is a good reason for my hiatus and I thought I should warn you all too. So this is why I was gone:
Non-acetone polish remover

I suppose the most of you don't read hebrew, but don't you worry. I will make sure no one stays in the dark here. This is a Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover. The kind you can buy at any drug store. And this thing is why I was away for more then a week. 

So last Sunday evening when I visited my mother, she asked me to remove her nail polish. She only had this remover but it was used before with no issues. And a non-acetone remover? I thought it would be gentle and harmless. So I grabbed it, I took a few cotton balls and I removed my mother's nail polish.
While I did, all was good. But later that night my fingers started to tingle and later they felt numb, as if I touched some super glue or something. By the next day I realized I had huge water bubbles on those three finger-tips. The bubbles that you can see if you get a serious burn from touching some hot metal or something.  I actually got burnt by a non-acetone polish remover!

Ok, here are a few important facts:
  • My mother did not have any issue with the remover. Most likely because each of her fingers touched the material for a shorter period of time.
  • Since my mother did not get affected, perhaps this means I am more sensitive or maybe even allergic to any of this remover's ingredients?
  • I have absolutely no idea how long my mother has this remover. Could it be too old? I wouldn't know because there was no date printed on the bottle.
Here is the bottle's back tag. You don't really have to read Hebrew to understand all the signs, and the list of ingredients is in English anyway. All the long text lines are basically the common warning: do not swallow, do not touch the eyes with this product, if swallowed seak medical care, you may only use this product to it's known purpose... There is no warning against skin burn!
Non-acetone polish remover
Finally, after a little more then a week, my fingers went back to normal. Well, naturally, the skin over the tips of my affected fingers has renewed which means it is still over sensitive to the touch. But at least I can touch stuff again! I can use my hands (almost) as usual! 
But this is a serious warning: if you are using a new polish remover that you never used before, make sure you do some skin tests first, before you disables yourself for a long time!!!
And do not trust the non-acetone polish removers... They have some very strong materials that replace the acetone... And I learnt that the hard way...

49 comments :

livingbelowtheclouds said...

Oh, I didn't know that. Thank you

The Polish Rainbow said...

oh my god...i would never even think this was possible...thanks for the warning! hope you're better now ;)

the_lacquerologist said...

Oh my goodness! I hope you fully recover soon!

Raquel A said...

Oh wow, I had no idea this could happen! Scary and good to know! I'm glad your doing better though!

Raquel A said...

I had no idea this could happen, I usually just trust the company that makes the product. Good to know! And glad your fingers are doing better! :)

Jen Sky Walker said...

Oh no! I use a non-acetone remover (unless I'm removing glitters) without any problems, but I do notice my skin feels warm if there has been exposure for an extended time. Wishing you a speedy full recovery!

Gini Kelly said...

Oh my goodness!! I would have thought the same as you, that non acetone would be gentile! Thank you for the warnings. I hope your poor digits make a full and speedy recovery! ♥

Lena Payne said...

I am so glad you are OK now. I am sorry this happened to you. <3

Dani FromPolishwithLove said...

Oh no!! Thank you for the heads up!! That's so scary and I'm glad there wasn't permanent damage!

Natalie said...

This is horrible! I'm sorry to hear this happened to you and I hope your fingers will heal completely soon. <3

Raeven said...

that is crazy!! I'm glad that you are doing better. I would never even thought that this was something that could happen.

lovenailpolish said...

This is nothing short of a nailmare! How are you doing? I was hoping/dreading to see pics of your tip bubbles. Healing wishes I send to you.

Lori Doiron said...

Wow..this is the first time that I have heard someone talk about the same issues that I have been having for a year now. I also used the Equate (WalMart) non-acetone remover when I do gels to clean and my fingers have been burned over and over. It starts with coolness, burning, then itching, blisters, hard dry skin which cracks and bleeds, then after a week, it starts to heal but stays sensitive. It happens to the thumb, forefinger and the middle finger. These are the fingers that hold onto the cotton that's used to wipe...I've lost my fingerprints on these fingers at least 4 times now. I have asked many people and no one had had these episodes...at least I'm not alone...get better!!

Ashley Haddock said...

Ouch, Lori!! It sounds like you are severely allergic to that product. You should definitely stop using that and switch to something else.

Beauty-Ninja said...

I had no idea this could happen! I just assumed non-acetone was more gentle than acetone!

Dionne Klein said...

I'm really sorry this happened to you. Since I change my polish daily (fellow blogger), I stared having serious trouble with my hands peeling from the polish remover (both non-acetone and regular). I started using latex gloves to remove my polish and the problem went away.

Connie West said...

Oh no! Thats terrible,I've never heard of that before but I know you can become allergic to something after using it for years. Thank you for the warning to everyone and hope that never happens to you again!

twee & honey said...

sounds like an allergic reaction or Contact Dermatitis. disclaimer: i'm no doctor! based on the ingredients listed in English though, i would guess you are either allergic to one of the colorants or developed a sensitivity to the first ingredient from over-use (it's in like almost all nail products :/ as long as it's healing and you avoid that product you should be fine, if it worsens or returns see a doc asap.

thanks for sharing!

Kelly @ Nails for the Sake of Sanity said...

Oh wow, this is awful! I would contact the number on the back to let them know what happened to you. You likely aren't the only person allergic to this, and it should definitely be printed on the bottle to do skin tests like you said, as some have reported allergic reaction. Hope you are all better soon!

Michelle Ramos said...

I've read that you should use acetone to remove polish because, even though it isn't good for you, it removes the polish so much faster, it isn't in contact with your skin as long as a non-acetone remover would be. That said, my nails always start to peel after I use acetone remover.

I'm glad you're okay, though! I've had weird effects from non-acetone remover before--it turned the pads of my fingers white and they felt like you said, like they had super glue, but I didn't get the blistering.

Chameleon Stampede said...

OMG! That's horrible! I'm glad you're ok!

Cupcake Cat said...

This is awful :( Have never used non acentone polish removers and if I do I will definitely do a allergy test! Glad that you're okay and hope you don't have to experience this again!

Raeven said...

Yeh I would try using something else too, maybe just pure acetone. I get mine from Sally Beauty.

ignailartpolice said...

The bottle says it has a shelf life of 24 months...could you mother have had it longer than that?

Rachel H said...

OH NO! I hope you are okay now. That must have been terrifying!

ManisbyMoore said...

Oh no! I am glad you are okay. Great advice because you never think about stuff like that! I am glad I am a creature of habit. I always use and purchase the same things.

Dina Ramse said...

Insane. Glad you are doing okay now. Sorry this happen to you. :(

Cookiemownster said...

shoot! i JUST bought some today! may have to return them! i always feel funky with non acetone removers thanks for the tip! hope ur hands heal perfectly :)

Narmai said...

Ahwww honey, this must have been so scary and painful for you! I always use a peel off base coat, I know I'm sensitive to a lot of stuff and this is also the reason why I didn't feel comfortable using a lot of remover. I sometimes use the non-acetone stuff to clean up around the cuticles and it gives me a slightly warm, burning sensation but no visible damage. It's only a feeling of discomfort though, nothing like the pain I imagine you must have experienced! I sincerely hope you'll be okay soon and thank you for informing us!

RaynesOnyx said...

This sounds like a skin condition I have fought with my whole life. It's called dyshidrotic eczema. It's an inherited autoimmune disorder. Basically your skin comes in contact with something it doesn't like. The skin and your immune system then over react. At first it burns and itches (under no circumstances should you itch it). Then you will get blisters (way more blisters if you itch the affected area). The blisters dry up, then crack and peel. Sound familiar? I think it's most likely that not a burn but a reaction to something in the polish remover. I have a RX ointment that kicks it's butt. Identifying/avoiding triggers and moisturizing helps too.
Good luck.

Lindsay Niles said...

Yikes! I'm glad you're alright.

I'm really careful about hair dyes and similar products but I never even thought to do spot tests for removers!

Rainbowify Me said...

This is the second time I hear a story like this - both including old polish remover :/ I never thought that a remover could actually be too old, but it seems that it can!

Shelly said...

I have heard of this happening to another blogger (I wish I could remember who it was) but she used the pink non-acetone remover made by Cutex (which is a major brand over here!) and she had the exact same thing happen. Scary stuff! Hope you recover soon. XX

Criminal Nails said...

Horrible story, Jin... I can't believe this, honestly! I started using non-acetone remover and I observed it dried my nails and cuticles far more than the acetone one... I just hate this stuff now.

Jin Jit said...

Thank you for your suggestion but that was not a skin condition. It was a burn. Those were large single blisters filled with water. It wasn't ichy or any other way annoying. The tingling I mentioned was very few and only at the very short minutes after I finished the removing process. And it was not an ich. It was the sort of tingle you get if you have a very small cut and you enter the sea. You know what I mean?
Anyway, if this was any sort of skin condition, I would have experience it more often. And I never had this stuff before!

The Polish Rainbow said...

I am not a doctor, but I think you should call your doctor and schedule a patch test (allergy test). not a prick test (that's not for contact allergies), but a patch test. here's a link (though the pictures are horrible): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_test_(medicine) I've had this done and found out what I was allergic to. cant hurt, right? ;)

Jin Jit said...

I actually have no idea. but where do you see it has 24 months shelf life? I was looking for any sort of date stamp or something that will tell me until when the product is good or when it was produced, and I did not find any...

jennm72372 said...

The little symbol next to the one that says flammable, it looks like a little can and had 24m in it.

Gold Francine said...

OMG! Thanks for warning!
I'm glad you are ok, now. Very scary story...

Jessica Casteel said...

the little jar symbol with '24' in it, that's the shelf life indicator for most all make-up/beauty items

RichInHeart said...

I actually had the same problem with my non acetone remover. Here's the thing: I always use the same removed and Ho through a bottle in about a month or two, so its not old. I have had only one issue of it burning before but it wasn't so bad. When I got my last burn I was washing my hands constantly (I am a full on germophobe so I wash my hands maybe 100 times a day) and I had washed my hands EVEN MORE for the last week, so my skin was very very sensitive to the polish. I felt like the remover was going right through my skin and saturating my entire finger. It tingled and felt very very weird almost like it hurt? Then I rinsed my hands off and noticed like a little blister under the top layer of my skin. The top layer of my skin was also peeling away so the remover damaged all the way through.It was weird but wasnt really bad

Teresa Bow said...

Wow... This is a allergic reaction you have sensitive skin. But you should wash your hands and nails really good after using any remover and your skin. Personally I like fresh remover it works faster!!!!

citygirl907 said...

oh my goodness that is scary! glad to hear that your fingers have started to recover :)

Raggio di Luna said...

I'm sorry for your bad experience with this non-acetone (but skin-burning) nail polish remover... I hope you and your fingers feel better now! :-)

Yun, The Polish Hideout said...

Oh my gosh Jin, that's horrible! I'm so glad you are better now! <3

~ Yun

Annie Suzie said...

OMG - how awful, thank goodness your getting better. There should be some sort of warning on the bottle, thanks for sharing this.

Erica said...

Sounds painful! Hope you are doing better!
Most of the time, I use acetone with my real nails (they are as thick as acrylic and rip ouch!) but, Once in a great while, I will have acrylic nails applied and I use non-acetone since the acetone remover will destroy the acrylic nails.

I have never even thought of the non acetone remover burning. I have used the equate before, but I currently have the non acetone one from Sallys. I am going to be more careful about using it after reading this! Thanks for the heads up to anyone who uses it! I feel for you that it happened to you!

Shomni Steele said...

Holy crap! I've finally got an answer to my problems I've been having for over 6 months! I am a nail tech and after following a Youtube video that recommended non acetone nail polish remover instead of a gel cleanse my fingers started to break out in little bubbles that would itch like mad! I'd scratch and scratch and scratch until I basically had scratched all my skin off! I went to the doctor and he called it Contact Dermititis (spelling) and whatever it was I was coming into contact with I had an allergy to and to figure out what I was touching all the time. I figured it was my gel so I switched brands only to have the same issue. So I switched again with the same results. I did this about 4 times and I was about to give up doing nails. Even wearing heavy duty 8ml thick mechanic grade Nitril gloves I still had an issue. So long story short, I found this article today and a light went off in my head and I ran to the drug store and bought regular nail polish remover and did all my clients today WITHOUT any burning/stinging/itching!! I'm so happy thank you so much for posting this, this means I don't have to give up what I love!!

Shomni Steele said...

After finding this article and an answer to the problems I've been having for over 6 months, I ran to the drug store and bought normal nail polish remover and compared the ingredients. The only real difference was Ethyl Acetate. That seems to be the ingredient I am allergic to. Now maybe my issue will go away, the doctor called it Contact Dermititis, whatever I was contacting was causing a reaction due to allergy. Make sure your polish remover does not contain this ingredient if you have the same issue of cracking, itching, blistering, bleeding fingers when using or doing nails as a nail tech. Thank you so, so much for posting this, I never would have thought it would be so simple!!

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