Gel manicures have become all the rage over the past couple of years, surpassing the popularity of the common nail polish. The long-lasting effects of gel manicure are one of the reasons, as it lasts for up to four weeks, remaining shiny until your remove them. What makes them last that long is the exposure to an ultraviolet (UV) light a couple of times during the manicure process, allowing the gel to dry faster. If you get gel manicure done on a regular basis, just think about the numbers of time you have been exposed to UV radiation.
Check out the story of Lauren Ann’s best friend who regularly got her gel manicure done and eventually developed melanoma, a skin cancer as a result.
She said, “One of my very best friends in the world got gel manicures regularly, like many of us. Prior to her diagnosis I hadn’t put too much thought into the dangers of the UV light so close to the fingers/nails, especially with some fairly newer chemical compound on them. She no longer has this thumbnail because THANK GOD she was smart enough to go to a dermatologist, and he diagnosed her with a rare form of cancer and did surgery. Although she very much misses her 10th nail, she is lucky it did not spread.”
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a common type of skin cancer which develops when melanocyte, damaged cells, grow in a way that cannot be controlled. These cells contain melanin and darken the skin when exposed to ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds, nail lamps, and the sun.
Tanning beds are particularly damaging to the skin, leading to premature skin aging and even skin cancer. As a matter of fact, those who use tanning bed before the age of 35 are 75% more likely to develop melanoma than those who don’t.
Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation doesn’t only burn the skin, but it damages melanocytes, which then travel throughout the body. About 2% of 3.5 million skin cancer diagnoses are melanoma, which account for a great part of skin cancer deaths.
Watch Out for These Melanoma Symptoms
- Asymmetry: The mole has an irregular shape.
- Border: The edge is irregular or notched.
- Color: The mole has dark spots or uneven shading.
- Diameter: The spot is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving or Elevation: The spot is changing in shape, size or texture.
Tips for Safest Manicures
After reading this, you probably consider switching to conventional nails polish to avoid the dangers of gel manicure. However, while this seems like a better alternative, it does come with its own set of dangers.
According to a study which tested for toxic chemicals in 24 women, 100 percent of them showed signs of triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) after 10 hours of applying nail polish. This chemical is known to disrupt the endocrine system which controls the hormones.
What we suggest is to use non-toxic polish from brands like Honeybee Gardens, Suncoat, or Zoya. Alternatively, simply go polish-free.