Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Follow these tips to protect your nails from UV light

We all love to indulge in a manicure and pedicure, but new research details how it can affect your health: new study shows the potential risks of gel manicures and what you can do to protect yourself before your next salon visit.

Gel manicures stay on for about two weeks and don’t chip as easily as regular manicures. But they require ultraviolet (UV) light to dry, and researchers say this may increase the risk of skin cancer.


Whenever you get a gel manicure, you must put your hand inside a UV nail lamp to let the polish dry.

“You can think of them as mini tanning beds for your hands,” explained Kaiser Permanente dermatologist Dr. Kristin Cam Missmar.

This causes premature aging, wrinkles, dark spots and thinning of the skin, but more importantly, it can also cause an increased risk of skin cancer, Missmar said.

A recent study from the University of California in San Diego and published in the journal “Nature Communications” found that the radiation emitted by UV nail dryers causes cellular damage.

In the study, the researchers used human and mouse cells and exposed them to ultraviolet light for about 20 minutes, which is longer than the one to three minutes a nail salon says it takes to dry a client’s nails.

Researchers say they found damage to cells and DNA.

“They found that after 20 minutes, between 20% and 30% of the cells died. Then the remaining cells had DNA mutations similar to what we see in some skin cancers,” Missmar added. .

The researchers caution that more data is needed to confirm their findings, or even to say how many gel manicures you would need to increase your risk.

For its part, the FDA noted that UV nail dryers have low risk when used as directed.


There are steps you can take to protect yourself in the salon.

First up: sunscreen. You can apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher before applying polish, or before your hands are exposed to light, Missmar advises.

“They make gloves with built-in UV protection factors and cut off the fingertips. So this way, you know you’re getting a manicure, you’re protecting most of your hands, not all of it, but you’re definitely lowering risk you do not take these steps,” the dermatologist said.

“Perhaps go for a traditional nail polish or another type of manicure that does not involve a UV light. Save these gel manicures for special occasions, a couple of times a year,” he urged.


When you take off your polish, Missmar says to look out for certain signs of trouble.

“Any change, discoloration on the nail, so it could take the form of a black line, a brown line, a black line, even a red line on the nail, especially the one that extends to the cuticle. Any bump on the nail under the nail plate, a crack in the nail, or even any discoloration around the nail and skin.”

For those who like gel manicures, Missmar advises that it is important to keep an eye on your nails. If you notice dark spots or lines, don’t ignore them or wait until your next skin check. Talk to your dermatologist as soon as possible.

Nation World News Desk
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