Gel Manicures & Skin Cancer

Specialist Clinics of Australia has extensive experience in dealing with skin cancer. Recently, opinions claiming that having gel manicures done can put you in the threat of getting skin cancer came to our attention.

What gel manicures have to do with skin cancer?
There has been some confusion regarding the link between gel manicures and skin cancer as they seem to be a combo hard to believe in. However, it is not about the actual gel that you put on your nails but rather the harm regards the UV lamp. “We know that UV rays are implicated in both cancer and ageing of the skin,” says Dr Stan Green from the GSSC.

Even though while having a gel manicure done, you’re putting your hands in and out of the lamp just a moment, the UV radiation still has a chance to interact with your skin. Also, it “appears that the dose used is small, but as the machines are not regulated, some would emit more UV light than others,” says Dr Green.

The dangers of UV light
You should always avoid exposing yourself to UV light. These rays are not only damaging for your skin and can cause cancer, but they also accelerate the skin-ageing process.

If you want your wrinkles to shows as late as possible, you will be using various creams and sunblock with a high SPF factor. Why would you treat your hands any different? After all, you can always tell a person’s age by the look of their hands.

If gel manicures are something that you completely can’t resign from, using a sunblock with SPF 30 on your hands is a good idea. This will also protect your hands against wrinkles, brown spots and other signs of ageing.

Am I really safe?
“I have personally seen skin cancer at the back of the hand of a young patient. This is unusual. She had a history of gel manicures, so this may have been a factor,” says Dr Green.

Getting a few gel manicures a year, most probably is not a problem but if you’re one of the women who get a gel manicure every two weeks throughout the year, then you should consider the situation you’re putting yourself into.

One gel manicure is estimated to equal 2 minutes in the sun. This means that you spend in the UV radiation 1 hour a year. Although this doesn’t seem a lot, multiply it by 5 years and suddenly this simple math is doesn’t look that innocent anymore.

Safety above all
You avoid sunbeds for a reason. You protect your skin with a sun-block for a reason. While you focus your attention on that, it is very easy to overlook other vulnerable areas of your body, such as your hands. Please, consider this the next time you think of having a gel manicure done.

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The content & media published on our website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks, and results of cosmetic procedures will vary.