Going for a manicure is supposed to be a nice, relaxing treat for your hands that leaves you with nice looking nails, however if you are getting “specialty” nails done and your salon is one that uses UV nail dryers – you need to use caution! A lot of reports have come forth lately and doctors are speaking out with their opinions about UV dryers and the consensus is that they highly increase the risk of skin cancer and skin aging on the fingers and hands.
These UV dryers are commonly used when you are having gel nails or special shellacs done but some salons regularly use them to cut down on the drying time of ordinary nail polish. The dryers contain various doses of radiation – some emit a very small amount and others produce an extremely strong dose of artificial radiation – even more than you would get in a regular tanning booth. Doctors and Dermatologists are seeing more and more cases of women with skin cancer on their fingers. This could also possibly be attributed to not applying sunscreen and going out into the sun – but because of the placement of these new cancers it is much more likely that they are coming from the UV dryers. A lot of salons are responding to these allegations and say the dryers are safe and don’t emit enough UV to do any harm. Doctors reply that any UV at all is dangerous, especially when it is very concentrated, and will lead to aging of the skin, if not worse, and they have put out warnings to avoid these dryers.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so the next time you decide to treat yourself to a manicure – do some research first. Make sure to find an extremely reputable salon with licensed estheticians who sanitize their equipment properly and are aware of the proper procedures to remove hangnails and buff nails. Avoid the special nail gels which require the UV dryers, or ask if they can be dried in another way if you must have them. And if the salon wants to use one to dry regular nail polish – ask instead for a top coat then just sit and relax for an extra 20 minutes while your nails dry.