Presidents Rx: Gel Nails and the risk of cancer

Presidents Rx: Gel Nails and the risk of cancer

They say "pain is beauty," but how much of a risk are you willing to take just to ensure your manicure or pedicure doesn't smudge or chip?

The Skin Cancer Foundation recently issued a statement about the safety of the process used to cure (or dry) UV gel nail polish. According to the report, sticking your hands or feet under a UV light to set a manicure or pedicure has a low, yet "not insignificant" risk for skin cancer.

UVA and UVB rays in artificial UV light penetrate the epidermis - or top layer of the skin - causing permanent damage to the cells below and elevating a person's risk for developing skin cancer.

The chance of getting skin cancer from a UV gel polish is low compared to tanning beds, but there is still a small risk.

The Food and Drug Administration has not released statements about the risks of UV nail lamps, but health care professionals have long been aware of the risks associated with indoor tanning.

The good news is, not all gel manicures fall under the warning. First-generation shellac gel polishes will only harden under UV light. Newer brands use LED lamps.

The next time you go get a gel manicure or pedicure, err on the side of caution. Shield your hands and feet from potentially harmful UVA rays by appsun blocknblock that contains zinc or titanium oxide.