Gel Manicures May Cause Cancer, But I Won't Stop Getting Them

Gel manicureI am obsessed with Shellac manicures. Every other week, I head into the salon and get my nails buffed, filed, and polished, and for the next two weeks, they are perfect, unchipped things of beauty. Now, it seems I may have to stop. It turns out gel manicures may be bad for us.

It isn't the chemicals, though, that make these shiny, instantly dry manicures possibly dangerous to our health. It's the UV lamp used to cure the polish that is suspected of giving some women skin cancer on the back of their hands.

As a person obsessed with this manicure, I have to say I knew this day would come. It was almost too good to be true. But also, people: Duh. How could we not know this was bad for us? See the process below:

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The way the manicure works is there are four layers. Each layer is "cured" for a short period of time under a UV lamp and then you are all prettified. But anyone who didn't know this was dangerous needs to have their head examined.

Anna M. Bender, a dermatologist at Johns Hopkins University, told the Washington Post:

Artificial UV light does elevate your risk for developing skin cancer and for premature aging of the skin. So people could use a sunscreen to try to block the UV from their surrounding skin.

OK, then. Raise your (prematurely aging, UV-exposed) hand if you did NOT know a lamp like this could cause skin cancer?

The news is a bummer, no doubt. But it isn't going to change what I do with my nails. Call me crazy, but I kind of already knew I was putting myself at risk when I went under the lamp. Sure, I might wear more barrier hand cream next time, but this manicure is pretty revolutionary.

This feels a little more like recycled news than real news. Tanning beds are bad for you. We all know that. So why would these UV lamps be any different?

I will keep on getting my manicures. I know the risk. Maybe at some point I will stop, but for now, the convenience is just too sweet. Besides, doesn't everything cause cancer?

Does this make you think twice about gel manicures?


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