The Effects of Lacquer Thinner on the Skin

Lacquer thinner is a product made up of solvents such as ethyl alcohol, ethyl acetate and toluene, used as a solvent or a paint, cement or varnish thinner. The ingredients are labeled as hazardous materials and should be used with caution. Never intentionally put lacquer thinner on the skin. Take caution, rinsing immediately, if you accidentally get lacquer thinner on skin.


Regardless of how quickly you wash off skin that has been exposed to lacquer thinner, you may notice a redness on the spot where the liquid touched the skin. This will range from a pinkish color to dark red, but will not have damaged the skin. This is a chemical reaction to the ingredients in lacquer thinner. This is a simple irritation, so it should only be observed, and no medical attention is immediately needed. If it continues to redden hours after the lacquer thinner has been rinsed off, make sure to contact your family doctor for advice on what to do with the area.


If a burning feeling occurs, rinse the area with soap and water. If the burning continues and you notice any skin damage or blistering, you must contact your doctor. Emergency medical help is subjective. If the pain is unbearable, see a doctor immediately. If the pain seems to subside, then let it continue to do so. Do not rub or irritate the area further to prevent any possible skin damage.

Skin Damage

If you notice the exposed area experiencing spot-specific dryness, redness and cracking, contact a doctor immediately. This may be a chemical burn, and you may need a burn wash. This does mean a trip to the emergency room, unless your family doctor can get you into his or her office immediately. This will only continue to crack and dry out more. The chances for this happening are much higher in those people with pre-diagnosed skin conditions or sensitive skin.