I love my gel manicures, but according to a warning from a doctor at NYU School of Medicine the dose of UV light used to dry the gel is known to damage skin cells just like tanning beds.

Great. Just great.

My gel manicures tend to last about a month, which is why I prefer to get them opposed to the regular polish, but I may have to rethink this. Dr. Chris Adigun of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU doesn’t think they’re the best choice when it comes to your nails.

“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 a recent article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Adigun suggests taking the same precautions with gel manicures as you would with sunbathing and tanning salons.  Sunscreen is a must  “to decrease the consequences of chemical trauma.”

“As is the case with most things, moderation is the key when it comes to gel manicures,” she said. “If you get them regularly, you need to be aware of the possible consequences.”

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA), an organization that regulates salons, states that it’s actually unnecessary to apply sunscreen.

New independent study by leading researchers concludes that UV nail lamps do not play a substantial role in the risk of developing skin cancer. The researchers calculated it would take 250 years of weekly UV nail sessions to equal risk of exposure associated with one course of narrow band UVB treatments for certain kinds of skin conditions.

Well, maybe I’ll just use the sunscreen as an extra precaution, because cancer sucks.


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