Can A Manicure Harm Your Thyroid?

Can A Manicure Harm Your Thyroid? In recent years, there has been growing concern about the potential harmful effects of certain beauty treatments on our overall health. One such treatment that has garnered attention is the manicure. While manicures are generally considered safe and enjoyable, some experts suggest that certain aspects of the procedure could have an impact on our thyroid health.

In this article, we will explore the connection between manicures and the thyroid, examining the potential risks and providing tips for maintaining both beautiful nails and a healthy thyroid.

What is Thyroid Gland?

Can A Manicure Harm Your Thyroid

The thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions. It produces hormones that influence metabolism, energy levels, and growth. Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can disrupt these processes and lead to a range of symptoms.

The Purpose and Procedure of Manicures

Manicures are beauty treatments aimed at enhancing the appearance of nails and hands. The procedure typically involves trimming, shaping, and polishing the nails, along with cuticle care. Many individuals with hypothyroidism turn to manicures as a way to improve the condition of their nails and boost their self-confidence.

Can A Manicure Harm Your Thyroid?

A manicure itself is unlikely to directly harm your thyroid. However, certain aspects of manicures, such as chemicals in nail products or prolonged exposure to UV nail lamps, may potentially impact thyroid health.

Chemicals in Nail Products: Potential Risks for Hypothyroidism

Some nail products, including nail polishes, may contain chemicals that can potentially disrupt hormonal balance. Ingredients like dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde have been associated with endocrine disruption, which can interfere with thyroid function. Prolonged and repeated exposure to these chemicals, especially if they seep into the bloodstream through the nails, may exacerbate hypothyroidism symptoms.

Chemicals in Nail Products

UV Nail Lamps: A Concern for Hypothyroidism?

UV nail lamps are commonly used to cure and dry gel nail polish. These lamps emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which has been linked to potential risks, including an increased risk of skin cancer. However, the exposure to UV radiation during a manicure is generally short, and the risk of direct thyroid damage from UV nail lamps is considered low. Nonetheless, individuals with hypothyroidism should take precautions, such as using sunscreen or wearing protective gloves to minimize any potential risks.

Tips for Safe Manicures with Hypothyroidism

Choose nail products carefully

Avoid nail hardeners that contain formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate (DBP). These chemicals can be harmful to people with hypothyroidism. Nail hardeners are products designed to strengthen and protect the nails.

However, some of these products may contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP, which can potentially disrupt hormonal balance and worsen hypothyroidism symptoms. It is important to carefully read the ingredients list and choose nail hardeners that are free from these harmful chemicals.

Use nail polish free of these chemicals.

Nail polish is a common component of manicures, and it is crucial to choose nail polishes that do not contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP. Opt for nail polishes labeled “3-free” or “5-free,” indicating that they are free from these potentially harmful substances. Look for healthier alternatives that are formulated without these chemicals to protect your thyroid health.

Tips for Safe Manicures with Hypothyroidism

Avoid soaking your nails in water for long periods of time

This can cause your nails to become brittle and break easily. Prolonged exposure to water can lead to the weakening and softening of nails. People with hypothyroidism already have nails that are prone to dryness and brittleness, so it is important to avoid excessive soaking. When doing household chores or engaging in activities that involve water, such as washing dishes or taking long baths, consider wearing gloves to protect your nails from prolonged contact with water.

Use a moisturizer on your hands and nails after washing them.

Dryness is a common issue for individuals with hypothyroidism, and this can affect the health and appearance of the hands and nails. After washing your hands, make it a habit to apply a moisturizer specifically designed for hands and nails. This will help lock in moisture, prevent dryness, and maintain the health of your skin and nails.

Don’t cut your cuticles

Instead, push them back gently with a cuticle stick.
Cuticles play a protective role for the nails, sealing the area between the nail plate and the surrounding skin. Cutting the cuticles can increase the risk of infection and damage to the nail bed. Instead of cutting them, gently push the cuticles back using a cuticle stick or an orange stick. This helps maintain the integrity of the cuticles while ensuring a neat appearance for your nails.

Use a nail file instead of clippers to shape your nails.

When shaping your nails, opt for a nail file instead of clippers. Nail clippers can be too harsh and may cause nails to become more brittle and prone to breakage. A nail file allows for more control and a gradual shaping process, reducing the risk of nail damage. Choose a fine-grit nail file to avoid rough edges and achieve a smooth finish.

Avoid using artificial nails or nail glue.

Artificial nails, such as acrylic or gel extensions, are not recommended for individuals with hypothyroidism. The application process involves the use of chemicals and adhesives that can potentially worsen hypothyroidism symptoms. Additionally, the removal process often requires soaking in acetone, which can further dry out the nails and surrounding skin. Opt for natural nail care methods to maintain the health and strength of your nails.


Can manicures worsen hypothyroidism symptoms?

Manicures themselves do not worsen hypothyroidism symptoms directly. However, some chemicals in nail products and UV nail lamp usage may potentially impact thyroid health and exacerbate symptoms.

Are there specific nail products to avoid with hypothyroidism?

It is advisable to avoid nail hardeners containing harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Opt for nail polishes labeled “3-free” or “5-free” for safer alternatives.

Can UV nail lamps harm the thyroid?

The risk of direct thyroid damage from UV nail lamps is considered low, as the exposure time during a manicure is typically short. Nonetheless, individuals with hypothyroidism should take precautions and use sunscreen or protective gloves during UV nail lamp usage.

How can I have safe manicures with hypothyroidism?

Avoid nail hardeners containing harmful chemicals, use nail polishes free of these chemicals, limit soaking nails in water, moisturize hands and nails, push cuticles back gently, shape nails with a file instead of clippers, and avoid artificial nails and nail glue. One useful tip is to incorporate the use of natural cuticle oil into your nail care routine.

Should I consult my healthcare professional before getting manicures with hypothyroidism?

It is always a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional, especially if you have concerns about specific nail products or UV exposure, as they can provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances.


While a manicure itself is unlikely to directly harm your thyroid, it’s important to be mindful of certain aspects that may have an impact on thyroid health. Choosing safer nail products and taking precautions during UV nail lamp usage can help minimize potential risks.

It’s crucial to consider various factors related to nail care. While discussing the potential risks, we also address specific scenarios. For instance, if you have a smashed finger, you might wonder if it’s still possible to get a manicure.

If you’re interested in getting a professional manicure, consider visiting Villa Nail Salon, where trained technicians prioritize your safety and provide high-quality services. Remember to prioritize your thyroid health and enjoy your manicure experience with peace of mind.