It’s the bonus to getting a gel manicure–placing your hands under a light to cure the polish and avoid the wait time to let the nails dry. Many salons use ultraviolet lights during that step. Those are the same lights in a tanning bed. Doctors say that’s cause for concern.
“UV light causes aging of skin and it also predisposes you to skin cancer depending on how much dose you get. The more UV light you get the more likely you are to be susceptible to getting skin cancer,” said St. Vincent dermatologist, Dr. Christopher Obeime.
Dr. Obeime says there is a healthier alternative. He suggests using LED lights instead.
“There’s no question that the led lights produce less radiation so these nail places eventually will try to adopt that and it would be good to do that,” said Dr. Obeime.
Makeup by Sparkle Cosmetics and Spa is already on board with LED lights.
“With UV that light can penetrate through the skin and actually make the DNA to mutate and that’s what causes skin cancer. The LED doesn’t do that,” said skincare specialist, Nicole Bell.
LED lights can cure gel manicures in about 90 seconds. UV lights take about 8 minutes–meaning more exposure
“Because you’re taking it out you’re not just sitting in there constantly its not as bad as a tanning bed but it definitely could give you the same affects as far as damaging your skin like a tanning bed could,” said Bell.
Bell even applies sunscreen on the hands before placing them under the light. She says although the risk is low it should be taken seriously.
“They don’t take it serious until it happens to them or someone close to them. Like I said, its very avoidable.”