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Do Gel Manicures Cause Cancer?

Sun out, toes out! Like the long-lasting, chip-free gel manicures? You might have to think twice.

Although there is no association between cancer and gel manicures, there is concern with the lamps and light boxes used during the manicure. These lamps and light boxes emit emit fairly high levels of UVA radiation, which can cause cancer.

A 2014 study in JAMA Dermatology indicated that the level of UVA exposure associated with a gel manicure every two weeks probably isn't high enough to increase the risk of skin cancer significantly. However, little things can add up and the UV light from nail lamps are 4 times stronger than UVA sunlight. Also, there is no regulation of UV nail lamp exposure, and photoaging comes with UV exposure.

That said, there are a few things you can do to protect your hands:

1. Slather waterproof sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher, on your hands before a manicure.

2. Wear a pair of gloves with the fingertips cut off during the manicure. You can try for gloves.

3. Minimize your exposure to acetone (the solvent used to remove old gel polish), which can dry your skin and nails. Instead of dipping your fingertips in acetone, apply acetone-soaked cotton pads to your nails for 10-15 minutes.

You don't have to give up your beauty routine to stay safe!

If you have a history of skin cancer or other types of cancer and would like natural, integrative support, contact my clinic at 704-543-5540!

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