Doctor warns UV light used in gel manicures could be cancer risk
Doctors have longed warn people against the harmful effects of tanning beds: wrinkles, a suppressed immune system and the big whammy: skin cancer. Now one doctor is warning women about the health risks associated with gel manicures, which use UV lamps.
With gel manicures, UV light dries the polish and keeps it from chipping, but it could have harmful effects. The UV light used in gel manicures is similar to tanning bed lighting, which is known to damage skin cells — according to assistant professor of dermatology Dr. Chris Adigun of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology.
“Women who frequently get gel manicures should consider their skin cancer risk because the UV light needed to cure the gel manicure is a risk factor for skin cancer,” she wrote in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
While gel manicures last twice as long as regular nail polish, the potential for long-term health factors have raised some concern. According to an article in JAMA Dermatology in 2009, two women developed tumors on their hands after exposure to UV nail lights. Because the UV lamps are not regulated, no one knows how much UV light is being distributed to the skin.
Some concerned about the health risks say they have switched to silk wraps, which can cost more. However, they say they don’t mind paying the extra cash for peace of mind.
Read more about the nail polish controversy from the NY Post.