Gel polish manicures have quickly become a popular choice in beauty salons worldwide since their introduction in 2010. This is due to their superior durability, long-lasting shine, and fast-drying properties, which make the application process more efficient compared to traditional nail polish.
But it is important to note that the UV lamps used in nail salons emit a different spectrum of light compared to tanning beds.
A group of researchers from the University of California, San Diego decided to investigate these devices further after reading about a beauty pageant contestant who was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer on her finger.
The researchers conducted experiments using various combinations of human and mouse cells and found that a single 20-minute UV lamp session resulted in 30% cell death in a petri dish.
Furthermore, three consecutive 20-minute sessions resulted in 65 to 70% of exposed cells dying off.
Additionally, other cells displayed signs of mitochondrial and DNA damage, as well as mutations commonly found in skin cancer patients.
The scientists concluded that their results and preliminary evidence suggest that exposure to UV nail lamps can cause cancer on the hands and may increase the risk of early-stage skin cancer, similar to tanning beds.
The dangerous radiation emitted from UV lamps can reportedly damage DNA, leading to the occurrence of prevalent skin cancers, namely basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma.
However, they noted that a longer epidemiological study is needed to confirm their findings and that it may take at least a decade before the public is informed.
Given these findings, it may be wise to avoid using UV nail polish dryers.