- Gaelic has gained a lot of popularity in the last decade.
- However, ultraviolet light equipment, which is used to dry this polish, is not without its hazards.
- A group of researchers from the University of California at San Diego discovered evidence of mitochondrial and DNA damage in hands caused by these devices.
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Since hitting the market in the last decade, gel manicures (better known as gelishes) have enjoyed growing popularity.
Compared to traditional nail polish, this type is more resistant to damage and stains. Also, the shine of the nails remains intact for a long time.
To dry the gel, it is common to place your hands inside an ultraviolet light device. However, you are not free from danger. Specifically, exposure to cellular and genetic material.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, decided to study these devices after reading an article about a beauty pageant contestant diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are known to cause skin cancer at high exposures. However, the safety of the lamps used to dry gelish in beauty salons has hardly been investigated.
Cell death and cancer mutation in human cells
These devices in beauty salons use a specific spectrum of ultraviolet light (340–395 nm) to dry up the chemicals used in gelishes.
This is a different spectrum than tanning beds (280–400 nm), whose carcinogenic effects have been more thoroughly studied.
Although they are marketed as “safe,” “until now no one has studied these devices and how they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular level,” says the School of Bioengineering and Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. said Ludmil Alexandrov, professor of medicine. , San Diego and author of the study, published Jan. 17 in Nature Communications.
Using three different cell lines – adult human skin keratinocytes, human foreskin fibroblasts, and mouse embryonic fibroblasts – the scientists found that a single 20-minute session caused 20 to 30% of cells to die.
A continuous 20-minute exposure to these UV light devices killed 65–70% of the exposed cells in a Petri dish.
Mitochondrial damage and damage to the DNA of the remaining cells can also be verified. These cause mutations with patterns similar to those seen in human skin cancers.
“First, we observed that DNA is damaged. We also observed that some of the DNA damage does not heal over time. This creates mutations after each exposure with a UV nail polish dryer. Finally, we observed mitochondrial dysfunction, which may also lead to additional mutations,” Alexandrov summarized.
Although the results show harmful effects of repeated use of these machines in human cells, a long-term epidemiological study is needed before concluding that use of these machines increases the risk of skin cancer.
However, the results confirm that chronic use of the devices is harmful to human cells.
Maria Zhivagui, a postdoctoral researcher in the Alexandrov lab and first author of the study, was a fan of Gelish, but dropped it after seeing the results.
“When I saw the effect of radiation emitted by the Gelish drying device on cell death, and it actually mutated the cells even after a 20-minute session, I was amazed. I found it very dangerous and used decided to close.”
Science Alert pointed to a few more recent stories: In 2009, two healthy women who had regular manicures and no family history of skin cancer suddenly developed skin cancer on their hands.
JAMA reported that their cases were the starting point for evaluating the risks of enamel dryers.
In 2013, researchers confirmed that the dose of UV radiation emitted by UV nail lamps is 4.2 times higher than that from the sun.
The authors concluded that the high intensity of exposure warranted further study. Now it’s time to continue the investigation.
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