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Could Your Gel Manicures Give You Cancer? Scary New Report

It’s true that gel manicures last longer than a typical polish change — hallelujah! But as it turns out, drying gel polished hands in direct UV light isn’t a good idea, and worse, it might leade to an increased risk of skin cancer. First our 6th grade perm and now the gel manicure — is there anything we ladies can do to beautify that’s not dangerous?

Dr. Chris Adigun, assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Medical School, is trying to help women see the dangers of getting gel manicures. In the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Adigun writes:

“Women who frequently get gel manicures should consider their skin cancer risk because the UV light needed to cure the gel manicure is a risk factor. As is the case with most things, moderation is the key when it comes to gel manicures. If you get them regularly, you need to be aware of the possible consequences. In general, any manicure left in place for an extended period of time is not a good idea because you are not seeing what is going on underneath the nail polish.”

Although we usually listen to the pros, some say not to give up on the gel mani just yet. A study conducted by Lighting Science Inc., an Arizona-based independent lab, reports that a gel manicure every two weeks can be equated to about two extra minutes outside under the sun’s rays per day, which doesn’t sound too life threatening to us.

Since we’re not ready to give up on our gel-ies just yet, we’re following the advice of the Professional Beauty Association, which regulates most salon products, about how to recognize warnings signs that our manicure — gel or otherwise — might not be so safe. According to the PBA, we should stay away from any salon that:

· Uses products that have strong or strange odor.
· Intends to use unsterilized instruments during a manicure.
· Gives a manicure that is painful to nails or skin.
· Doesn’t have visible licenses for the salon or its technicians.

Finally, to be on the safest side possible, we promise to wear sunscreen to keep our UV light-exposed nails and hands healthy when we get gel manicures. We pinky nail promise!

Source: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, ABC News, Professional Beauty Association

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03.8.2013 / 06:19 AM EDT by Jo Aaron
Related: Moms, Health, Beauty

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