Could Your Manicure Be Giving You Skin Cancer?

Amanda Elser

A modern woman’s favorite past-time, getting a manicure or pedicure done obviously comes with its perks – hand massages, clean cuticles, smudge-free polish, and of course, a quick dry time. But that handy-dandy dryer that we patiently sit with our hands under every visit could be causing more harm than good. According to an article in The Washington Post  a study followed two woman who reported repeated exposure to UV nail lamps and developed skin cancer on the backs of their hands.

With the increased popularity of gel manicures, which require longer exposures to the UV lamps in nail dryers, it makes us question how safe these dryers are and if they could cause the same damage as a tanning bed.

But is there really something to worry about? CND’s chief scientific advisor, Doug Schoon, said the linking of nail lights to tanning beds is flawed. His calculations show that the UV rays from nail lamps are the equivalent to one or two minutes in the sun each day between manicures. Plus, hands don’t get tan during manicures.

The researches of the study admit that “no strong conclusion” can be drawn from such a small sampling, adding: “It appears that exposure to UV nail lights is a risk factor for the development of skin cancer; however, this observation warrants further investigation.” There suggesting? Have your doctor pay particular attention to the backs of hands and feet when looking for skin cancer, especially if you frequent manicures and pedicures.

Just another reason for us to learn how to paint our own nails.