If you follow my posts, you may have noticed a post I made in the middle of March, it was talking about wanting to get the Nailene Professional UV Gel Curing Lamp, however after talking to another beauty expert, she told me to do some research about the side effects of using such lamps... and of course my "cosmetic geek" and "research junkie" sides came out.... here is the fruit of my research labour.. hehe
(Warning: There are graphic pictures below, do not scroll down if you are sensitive to the truth)
Did you know that the Artificial nails industry is worth over $6 billion dollars? At about five times the amount of Starbucks, there are almost 60,000 nail salons in the US alone.
In these nail salons, UV light is used, which is argued to increase the risk or skin cancer on your fingers.
Now, some say that these UV curing lamps are harmful and others say they aren't at all. But who do we believe and what do we do?
I did a little research and found valid points on both views.
"UV(Ultra Violet) Lamps are dangerous and can cause cancer"
According to the researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, it was noticed that some of their patients who had skin cancer on their fingers(which is an uncommon place to get skin cancer) had been exposed to having UV light for artificial nails. This light has been proven to damage cells' DNA and therefore causing mutations that lead to cancer. Also, from the Director of research at Dalhousie University's dermatology division in Halifax; Dr. Richard Langley: "The scientific evidence that UV nail lights used in the dryers can cause cancer are both direct and indirect." He also noted published case reports of women who didn't have any family history of sun damage that turned into skin cancer, who had skin cancer on their fingers, around the nail area after regularly using UV nail dryers.
The UV lamps are similar to tanning beds in the sense where they can make your skin look older and they emit UV rays just as a tanning bed would, and we all know the dangers of tanning beds. "The nail drying lights emit UVA rays, which can penetrate the skin much more deeply" said Dr. Marcy Street; board certified Mayo Clinic trained dermatologist and first female African MOHS(Chemosurgery) surgeon in the country(USA).
We can compare the amount of radiation that your fingers get from a nail treatment to a tanning bed/booth because someone who regularly gets their nails done would probably get it done every 2-4 weeks. If this were done for years this could definitely add up to a significant amount of UV exposure over the years. However, no large scale research has been done to clarify the dangers of using UV light.
Some doctors say that you can reduce the exposure by wearing gloves or putting towels or some kind of barrier around your skin during nail treatments. You could also put sunscreen on your skin. However, these methods according to the doctors are not enough to prevent skin damage from the UV light. And quite honestly, we all know the best prevention is to not use them at all.
And of course, in general, the more exposure you have, the more at risk you are of developing skin cancer from UV lamps. And there would be your decision... to do it or not.
"UV lamps are not strong enough to harm you"
On the other side of the argument, there are equally valid points that make total sense and make me question the truth behind such research.
"Nail drying UV lights are lower wattage than body tanning UV lights but they are used on smaller region. You need to look at watts per square inch of skin not total watts. Of course the duration of the exposure matters too. In general you should minimize your exposure to UV light..." said a reader of thedermblog.com
"If these lights are the same as what is in a tanning bed, why aren't my fingers blistered?
Had I been in a tanning bed for a comparable amount of time, I would at least be red. And I am not even browned. Sooo.... What am I missing?" said a reader of thedermblog.com
"...is it true that the UV light emitted at nail salons is the same as that emitted by a tanning bed?
According to dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, M.D. in the August 2008 issue of Oprah magazine, UVA light emitted by nail salon type dryers is only 10-30 watts, which is significantly less than the 2400 watts or so emitted by a tanning bed...." said a read or thedermblog.com
To conclude, with all this information, I am still at a crossroad about my decision on whether to buy one for myself or not. What do you think? Would you get your nails done again? Do you not care because you don't get them done that often or not at all? Let me know your thoughts!
Here are some videos that I found interesting on this point.... if anyone cares to watch
The first is from DermTV.com with Dr. Neal Schultz
The second is a news report from News9 Oklahoma City
Thanks for reading! I know that was a lot.. please let me know what you thought....