Your Gel Manicures Could Cause Skin Cancer

Your Gel Manicures Could Cause Skin CancerYour Gel Manicures Could Cause Skin Cancer

If you thought those nail lamps used for gel manicures were safe, think again.

If you knew that your gel manicures cause skin cancer, would you keep getting them?

Lots of women love gel manicures because they’re quick and they last a long, long time. But recent findings show that the UV lamps used to harden gel polish could lead to skin cancer.

In an article published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology, doctors said that they had observed some cases linking the use of UV lamps to skin cancer on the hand.

gel manicures cause skin cancer

Source: Shutterstock

If this surprises you, you’re not alone. Out of 424 people surveyed in the study, only 9% believe that there’s a cancer risk with these lamps. 82% said that they would stop getting gel manicures if the cancer risk was confirmed.

Do gel manicures cause skin cancer? How safe are UV nail lamps?

UV nail lamps aren’t very regulated, and these lamps come with different UV strengths. Those labelled LED lamps aren’t safe either — they also emit some UV radiation.

The UV lights from these lamps are similar to those used in tanning beds, which have been linked to skin cancer. Though the UV nail lamps emit low levels of UV radiation, this damage can add up.

gel manicures cause skin cancer

Source: Pexels

Though the risk associated with these lamps have not been absolutely established, the doctors from the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital Galway say that people should take some precautions before having a gel manicure, namely:

  • Applying a broad-spectrum, high SPF sunscreen to the hands 20 minutes before having a manicure
  • Using fingerless gloves

Experts also suggest opting for other nail treatments.


If there’s a chance that gel manicures cause skin cancer, would you continue getting them? Let us know in the comments!

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