Nail salon UV lamps have been red-flagged by scientists due to growing concerns regarding UV rays causing possible cancer. Gel manicure’s are “set” by nail salon lamps. They are also used to dry acrylic nails as well as nail polish. The concern has to do with the emission of Ultra Violet rays. These rays can cause premature aging of the skin and in some cases skin cancer.
Dr. Melissa Pillang, a Dermatologist with the Cleveland Clinic says, there is concern for worry if hand’s are being exposed for 10 minutes one time per week. But if going to the salon is a one to two-times-per-year event, then no worries.
Testing was done by Researchers at Georgia Regents University and found that there were a variety of bulbs emitting differences in wattage output. Multiple visits to the salon per year creates a much higher risk for skin damage and potential cancer. Researchers recommend sun screen as a protective measure against the UV rays. Putting it on before going into the salon would be of no benefit, as it would be washed off during the manicure; however, sun screen could be applied after the manicure just before nails are to be polished.
The concern is growing regarding photo aging promoted by the UV nail lights. These nail lights do pose a risk factor for skin cancer development. The key to prevention of such cancer via UV light is education. This is the same light used in tanning beds.
Other nail salon concerns are irritants to contact dermatitis, such as nail solvents, formaldehyde, toluene, and acetone polish remover. Nail cosmetics are also known to cause cancer. Toluene in nail polish has been linked to liver cancer. Toluene in nail polish has been linked to kidney and liver damage. Acetates are neurotoxins and coloring agents are assuredly linked to various forms of cancer.
According to Georgia Regents University, Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Lyndsay R. Shipp feels that due to misinformation, nail salon lamps could achieve a public enemy status in the near future. There are other factors that are of greater concern to Dr. Shipp. Those real concerns point toward fair skin because of less pigment, and the susceptibility to freckles. Another red flag is childhood blistering which does create a significant risk factor. Over exposure to sun, tanning beds, and nail salon UV lamps definitely increases risk. Reality speaks that a skin tan is an injury to too much sun exposure, or UV radiation. A sunny climate increases risk as do higher elevations. Moles need to be watched carefully. Weakened immune systems are at greater risk. Family history should not be taken lightly. Radiation exposure does increase your cancer risk. Substance exposure, such as arsenic, also increases risk.
UV rays can break down DNA strands, causing premature aging. Dr. Alina Markow did point out that just because DNA strands break down does not necessarily mean that the end result will be cancerous. Many variables come into play.
Although nail salon UV lamps deeply concern scientists with all of the red-flags that are currently known, general consensus would be to limit usage. Education about exposure to the different elements that could cause premature photo aging and potential cancers will continue to drive scientists into deeper research.
By Jill Boyer-Adriance