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Can You Wear Nail Polish During an MRI?

Can You Wear Nail Polish During an MRI?

Nail polish plays a vital role in keeping our nails healthy and strong. Besides forming a protective barrier over the nails and helping prevent bacteria infestation and breakage, nail polish is a surefire way of achieving beauty and confidence.

Well-maintained nails tell a lot about your personality and attitude towards life. Nail polish makes the fingernails less porous, thus allowing them to hold on to moisture better and prevent cracking. There are wide varieties and colors of nail polishes out there to choose from. 

Nail polish is a versatile makeup product that can be worn on many occasions. But can you really wear nail polish during an MRI? Let’s find out. 

What Is An MRI?

MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging, refers to a clinical procedure that uses radio waves and powerful magnets to diagnose through a scan what’s happening in a given part of your body. The results of the test are sent to a computer where the doctor can read and interpret what’s happening. 

MRI is a non-invasive and painless procedure that gives a clear and detailed picture of different parts of your body. You may require to undergo this procedure if you have severe discomforts and your doctor is unable to diagnose the problem from regular tests. 

Magnetic resonance imaging uses powerful magnets that may react with any metal on your body, causing a burn. So, can you wear nail polish during an MRI?

Can You Wear Nail Polish During an MRI?

Whether or not to wear nail polish during an MRI depends on the area the examination is taking place. If you are, for instance, having a head MRI you can comfortably have your nail polish on as this won’t interfere with your hands or toes. 

If the MRI examination is taking place on your hand or leg, you must remove the nail polish as it’s dangerous. Nail polish contains metallic particles which produce strong electromagnetic fields when placed near a powerful magnet such as those found in MRIs. Having a nail polish during MRI may result in burns or blurry images. MRI machines use a very strong magnetic field, and as such, having a metal such as those found in nail polishes anywhere near the body can interfere with the quality and accuracy of the scan. 

Moreover, the metal particles in your nail polish may heat up and burn when exposed to the strong magnetic fields of the MRI. 

How to Prep Your Nails for an MRI

Can You Wear Nail Polish During an MRI?

Photo by Bryony Elena on

The first thing you will need to do after your doctor advises for an MRI procedure near your figures or toenails is to get rid of the nail polish on these areas. You can do this using the following steps;

Soak the Nails in Alcohol Containing Spirits

Alcohol-containing spirits such as vodka or gin work great in taking off nail polish. In itself, alcohol is a solvent that helps in breaking things down. All you have to do to get rid of the nail polish is soak the nails in the alcohol spirit of your choice for several minutes before peeling or wiping off the nail polish. 

Soak the Nails in a Hand Sanitizer

Most hand sanitizers contain alcohol which helps in softening the nail polish. To remove the polish using this method, soak your nails in an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping the product off using a clean washcloth. 

A Mixture of Hot Water and Hydrogen Peroxide 

You can also remove your nail polish by soaking your figures or toes in a jar containing a mixture of hot water and hydrogen peroxide. This solution helps soften your polish, making it easy to come off. 

Use Your Toothpaste to Rub Off the Polish

Toothpaste is another great, easy-to-use product that can help you get rid of your nail polish. For best results, use white toothpaste or those containing baking soda. To use this product, apply a sufficient amount of it on your nails and scrub it off using an old toothbrush to get rid of the polish. 

Use Acetone and Non-Acetone Nail Polish Removers

Acetone and non-acetone nail polish removers have been around for the longest time now. They are one of the easiest to use nail polish removers around. All you have to do when using these products is find one that best fits your needs in terms of the ingredient list and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying it to your nails. 

Most of these traditional removers will require that you soak a cotton cloth in them and dab it on your nails to remove the polish. 

Additional Beauty Accessories to Avoid When Planning For an MRI

Nail polish is not the only beauty/makeup accessory you need to avoid when planning for an MRI. Rather you should also stay away from the following things when preparing for an MRI. 


Body inking is a growing trend in the beauty industry. You, however, need to avoid tattoos when preparing for an MRI as the strong magnetic field in this process may interact with iron oxide pigments on the tattoo surface, causing burns on the said area. 

If you already have a tattoo on your body, talk to your doctor about it so that they can advise on the best way forward. Some situations, such as when you have a newly done tattoo, may require you to postpone your MRI appointment until the inked area is completely healed. 

All Types of Makeup

Different types of makeup, including earrings, foundations, concealers, lipsticks, eye shadows, necklaces, sunscreens, and primers, contain metallic particles that may react with the strong magnetic fields of the MRI, causing a burn. Following this, you need to stay away from these makeup accessories when getting to the scan room. 

Moreover, avoid getting new piercing days to your MRI appointment date, as this may interfere with the process and healing of your pierced area. If you already got the piercing and it’s yet to heal, talk to your doctor about it and request them to give you more time for the area to heal. 


A wig is another thing you need to do away with before entering an MRI room. Like nail polishes, wigs contain metallic particles that may react with the strong magnetic fields of the MRI, causing a burn. If possible, also stay away from relaxers and maintain your natural hair. 


Whether you should have your nail polish on during an MRI depends on the part of your body that needs to be examined. If the MRI is likely to interfere with your nails, your doctor will advise you to take off the nail polish to avoid unnecessary burns and poor imagery. 

As always, ensure to adhere to your doctor’s advice and take off the polish for your own safety. The best thing about nail polish is that it’s easy to remove and apply. As such, you can easily take it off using the above-recommended tips and return it a few weeks after the MRI.