The use and sale of the very popular gel nails took a downward spiral last spring after Dr. Chris Adigun of the NYU School of Medicine published an article warning against the use of UV (ultraviolent) lamps used to harden the polish of gel nails. His determination that UV lamps could cause damage similar to that of tanning beds sent a chill through many gel nail users.
Thankfully a new study by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University refutes those claims and says that UV lamps used for hardening nail polish are safe and do not increase cancer risk. The study, “Photobiological Safety Evaluation of UV Nail Lamps,” was published in the spring 2013 issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology and co-authored by Drs. John C. Dowdy and Robert Sayre, the co-inventor of the SPF rating system for sunscreens.
Multiple reliable sources have dispelled the exaggerated claims that UV lamps are harmful. In reality, studies have shown that the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer was 11-46 times lower than the risk of exposure to natural sunlight.
The truth is research data shows that a person could put their hands under a nail lamp for 25 minutes a day without exceeding the acceptable limits for safe workplace daily exposure.
The findings in this research don’t mean that there is no risk at all for using UV lamps. There are certain people who are more susceptible to skin cancer than others are, and persons who are taking medication that requires them to avoid natural sunlight without proper protection should be cautious when using UV nail lamps.
If you have any concerns about using UV lamps, here are some precautions you can take: