Doc Warns That Popular Gel Manicure Is A ‘Cancer Risk’

I love my gel manicures, but according to a warning from a doctor at NYU School of Medicine the dose of UV light used to dry the gel is known to damage skin cells just like tanning beds.

Great. Just great.

My gel manicures tend to last about a month, which is why I prefer to get them opposed to the regular polish, but I may have to rethink this. Dr. Chris Adigun of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU doesn’t think they’re the best choice when it comes to your nails.

“Women who frequently get gel manicures should consider their skin-cancer risk because the UV light needed to cure the gel manicure is a risk factor for skin cancer,” she wrote in a recent article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Adigun suggests taking the same precautions with gel manicures as you would with sunbathing and tanning salons.  Sunscreen is a must  “to decrease the consequences of chemical trauma.”

“As is the case with most things, moderation is the key when it comes to gel manicures,” she said. “If you get them regularly, you need to be aware of the possible consequences.”

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA), an organization that regulates salons, states that it’s actually unnecessary to apply sunscreen.

New independent study by leading researchers concludes that UV nail lamps do not play a substantial role in the risk of developing skin cancer. The researchers calculated it would take 250 years of weekly UV nail sessions to equal risk of exposure associated with one course of narrow band UVB treatments for certain kinds of skin conditions.

Well, maybe I’ll just use the sunscreen as an extra precaution, because cancer sucks.



  • Christa

    Wow! I just got my first gel manicure and I was thinking how I loved this and I was going to keep this up. :(

  • Crys F&WM

    I do my own and use sunscreen. Make your nail techs use sunscreen!

  • apple

    luckily i’m too poor to afford to get my nails done

  • Yb

    Right? A nail technician can’t do anything a press on nail kit, a thin paint brush, and a variety of $1 NYC polish can’t do.

    When your broke you get crafty.

  • Sasha

    I mean duh…..these are on the same level as acrylics in my opinion.

  • Keshia

    Lol good thing I don’t like getting my nails done

  • Deb

    same here and i see the nail technicians wearing those masks and want to ask for one because i’m sitting in the same exact space they are…

    also if you get these regularly and you see a black line/streak underneath your fingernail, run do not walk to a dermatologist.

  • Pink Lipstick

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • E.M.S.

    Is it really that surprising? Everything gives you cancer these days. The fact you get up and leave your house every day gives you cancer.

  • binks

    Not surprised by this study, I use to get gel nails and loved them once upon a time but that pain that happened when you stick your nails under the UV light made me stop it wasn’t worth it.

  • http://ki kiki

    I ,all stick to regular polish and top coat once a week

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  • aditi

    manicure therapy helps to have clean nails!!!

  • Dalamc1

    I thought it was just me that thought that process was painful. I love how long it lasts but at that cost…nah. It seemed to attach my joints in my hand and I’d rather not walk out in pain.

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