Prompted by a melanoma survivor who says her doctors believe her use of ultraviolet nail dryers while getting gel manicures is linked to her diagnosis, researches at UCSD studied the possible hazards of UV (ultraviolet) dryers.
Used by nail salons everywhere, the dryers employ ultraviolet light to cure or harden gel manicures. The results of the study are alarming. They found that the UV dryers do damage cells and even cause the same mutations found in skin cancer.
Most women rely on gel manicures because they feel it generally lasts longer and looks nicer than liquid polish. In the case that prompted the UCSD study, the woman’s nail technician noticed a dark line under her nail. She saw a doctor soon after when it began to hurt and looked infected. The results found a serious form of skin cancer.
While it’s impossible to say exactly what caused the cancer, doctors suspect it may be a combination of genetics and use of the UV dryers.
In the study, cells were analyzed after 20 minutes of exposure to a UV dryer and it was observed that 20 to 30% of the cells died. Additionally 65 to 70% of the cells died after 3 consecutive 20 minute sessions of UV dryer exposure.
The FDA is reviewing the findings of the study but currently says it believes the curing lamps are low risk as long as they are used as directed. Trade associations for the industry also say the lamps are safe when used according to established safe practices.
Still some dermatologists say it’s best to just not use them at all because there’s not enough information to know how frequently you have to use it to increase your risk. There simply isn’t enough data available to make that determination.
If you choose to find an alternative to gel manicures that lasts longer than liquid polish, dry nail polish strips are a good alternative. The nail polish strips that are made by Color Street are 100% real nail polish and are available in a huge assortment of designs, styles and colors. They last longer than liquid polish (up to 14 days) and are very affordable.
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