Many people enjoy getting gel manicures as they can last for several weeks.
But those strong and glossy tips may come with health risks, such as aging skin, infections, and skin cancer.
Even though studies on gel manicures are not scant, top dermatologists say it is important to take some precautions to protect yourself from possible infections and illnesses.
Dr. Chris Adigun, a dermatologist in Chapel Hill, told DailyMail: “There’s enough for us to recommend to patients to protect their skin.”
Gel manicures emit UVA rays, which are responsible for skin damage, aging, and cancer. Dr. Adigun said that the problem for understanding how risky gel manicures are “is that there’s no standardization as to how this treatment is carried out from salon to salon.”
What we know about skin cancer risk is based on sun exposure and not LED lamps. “There’s no one standing by your side saying, “time’s up!” in the salon,” Dr. Adigun added. “Most are probably getting a lot higher dose than we see in studies.”
“The benefit of gel manicures is that they last for several weeks at a time, so most people do not need to get them any more frequently than once per month,” she said.
To reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, Dr. Adigun recommended: “to cover up the skin, I don’t care if it’s gloves, a scarf, whatever it is, but something that is protective against UV rays.”
There are many problems with applying sunscreen, she said: “many take 20 minutes to be effective, and no one’s going to put it on then wait 20 minutes.”
Also, the procedure of getting a gel manicure may wipe off the sunscreen you applied.
Dr. Zeichner also recommends the use of gloves but he also supports the application of sunscreen. “Make sure to apply a broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen to your fingers, including the skin around the nails, to protect against the UVA light.”
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