Getting a Gel Manicure May Increase Your Risk of Skin Cancer
Is a gel manicure worth the potential of getting cancer? Are there options and alternatives?
Gel manicures have been around since the early 1980s, but they didn't gain popularity and demand until the 90s.
Today, gel manicures are in popular demand, but come with some risks.
As for some background and insight into gel nails and the process, which may create risks for individuals who may engage in such luxury, it's not the gel product that may increase the cancer risk, but the process used to harden or "cure" the gel, so that it will adhere and remain attached to the fingernail for the prescribed duration, which is between two to three weeks.
(Regular nail polish only lasts from five to seven days, and does not have to be cured before it becomes dull and begins to chip).
In order to cure gel nails, which is a necessary process to harden the gel, a UV or an LED light must be used.
However, there differences between the two types of lights.
According the NAILS Encyclopedia:
"LED lamps are used to cure gels. Newer than traditional UV-CFL lamps, they emit a narrow range of UV light wavelength and cure gels faster than UV-CFLs."
UV-CFL lamps are used to cure gels. They emit a lightly broader range of UV light wavelength than the newer UV LED lights and work more slowly.
A scientific study found that chronic use of the machines can damage DNA and cause mutations in human cells that could increase the risk of skin cancer.
So, what about LED dryers? Are they safer?
"UV lamps use UV light (the kind of rays in sunlight) to also “cure” the gel polish to dry. LED bulbs are thought to be safer than UV bulbs, as they transmit weaker rays."
However, both UV and LED lamps "both emit radiation," according to "Ask the Expert,"which "presents only a moderate UV risk."
What can be done to protect clients who opt for gel manicure services?
Opt for the regular manicure service
Avoid gel nail services completely
Receive gel nail services less frequently
Wear anti-UV fingerless gloves, specifically for drying gel nails
Apply sunscreen prior to curing and exposing gel nails to the UV lamp
Something to ponder...
This is a lifestyle choice that could become a self-induced, major medical issue---one that could potentially become life-threatening.
Since longevity is comprised of 75% of the choices individuals make, the decision to have gel nails could potentially have an effect on the length of one's life.
Think about it...