Shiny, durable, chip-resistant and ideal for masking nail imperfections, gel manicures have become a regular part of many women’s beauty routines.

  But gel nail polish needs ultraviolet light to harden, raising concern about the risk of skin cancer when hands, cuticles and nails are regularly exposed to UV rays that can be more powerful than the sun.


  And a new study, published in Nature Communications on Jan. 17, 2023, is adding to these concerns because it found radiation emitted by UV-nail polish dryers can damage DNA and cause mutations in human cells.

LED lamps still emit UV rays

  Some salons use UV nail lamps to cure the polish; others use LED lamps. Women may think the LED devices skip or minimize the ultraviolet light, but that’s a big misnomer, said Dr. Chris Adigun, a dermatologist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who specializes in nail disorders and who contributed expert advice on the safety of gel manicures for the American Academy of Dermatology.

  “Gels are massively popular nationally. They have catapulted the nail salon industry into a whole other stratosphere of revenue,” Adigun told TODAY.

  “Gels, by definition, need a UVA exposure to polymerize. So if there’s no UVA, there is no gel manicure.”

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[via MAY 17, 2019, 8:07 AM AST / updated JAN 19, 2023  Source: TODAY A. Pawlowski]