Will a Manicure Increase Our Cancer Risk?
The day I got home from the nail salon after a gel manicure, I read that gel manicures can increase our cancer risk because of the UV light that's part of the process. Ugh! Will it stop you?
Gel manicures need ultraviolet light to cure, so as we're sitting there gabbing with the manicurist about kids, vacation plans, and why men leave the cap off the toothpaste, we're also sticking our hands into a little cave-like machine for 60-second bursts to let it shine that bright light shine onto our hands. Each coat of gel polish needs to set and cure, and I counted five times that I inserted my hands into the machine last Friday. The final coat needed two times under the light.
The Today Show talked to an expert that said gel manicures need UVA rays, and they are the most mutagenic wavelength range of the UV spectrum." Apparently, they penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays and "play a role in skin cancer development and premature skin aging such as wrinkles and sun spots." Fantastic. Those gel manicure machines are like little tanning beds for our hands.
There's no cause-and-effect proof yet that gel manicures will lead to skin cancer, but they're putting more research into it now to find out. Time will tell.
Is this going to stop you, ladies, from getting a gel manicure? It's not going to stop me, but it is going to make me put on sunscreen before the next appointment. Using some 50 SPF as hand lotion before I go to the salon will surely send those UVA rays away. Gloves are actually recommended to completely block the rays if you can find some with holes for the fingernails.
The price we pay for beauty! The arm and hand massages that come with the manicure...those are still harmless, right? See you at the salon.