Yikes! Turns Out Even Your Gel Manicure May Cause Cancer

posted on May 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm

It seems like every week, one more thing is discovered that could cause cancer. We all know that smoking and extreme tanning are prime sources, but how about grilling red meats, using certain cosmetic products, talking on cell phones, and drinking from a plastic bottle after it has been left in a hot car?

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Though more research is needed in these areas, there have been claims that they could be causes of concern. We’re starting to think living in a bubble isn’t such a bad idea!

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Now added to the list is gel manicures after a study just published by JAMA Dermatology proved truth to the question of whether exposure to the UV dryer could be harmful.

Should we be entirely surprised by these findings? Probably not – ever since gel manicures became popular, the suspicion has been there.

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Gel manicures involve setting your nails under a little box that radiates a bright blue light for several minutes after each coat. Well, that little box you stick your hand under actually has the same ultraviolet light that is used in tanning beds. So if we know that excessive exposure to tanning beds could cause cancer, then who’s to say that the exposure received from gel manicures can’t have the same effect?

Before you have a major panic attack because you just got your nails freshly done, you should know it’s really the sustained exposure that leads to issues.

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When various UV lamps were tested, the amount of exposure emitted from the individual lights ranged, but the numbers came nowhere close to the amount that would lead to skin cancer. However, researchers estimated that eight to 14 visits over a period of 24 to 42 months would reach the threshold for DNA damage to the skin, as reported by The New York Times. Basically, if you’re visiting the nail salon about every 6 weeks (which, in reality, is not far off base for many mani-enthusiasts), you may want to cut back a bit.

We know, the long-lasting, chip-resistant nails gel manicures offer are hard to come by. Consider how much you could save just by reducing your visits to the nail salon! Maybe purchasing a more durable nail polish for a couple extra bucks isn’t such a bad investment, especially where health is concerned.

If you just can’t stay away though, The New York Times provides several suggestions: ask your nail tech to apply sunscreen instead of lotion before the nails are applied, or you can wear UV-protective gloves with the fingertips cut off so only the nails are exposed during the drying period.

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Credit: Bustle.com

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