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What you need to know about those UV lamps in nail salons & skin cancer

We all want and appreciate nice hands since they are out in the open all day long. A big part of that is having our nails polished. And getting a manicure with friends is an honored tradition many of us enjoy, especially before a big event like a wedding, birthday celebration, night out. Some of us even bring our young daughters along to show them what a little bit of pampering can do for the soul. With that being said, be aware of your next trip to a nail salon and a nail tech who just doesn't tell you the bad in a gel manicure using the UV lamp to cure the polish.

Your Skin Shouldn't Be the Only Skin You're Checking for Cancer

Sure we can do our nails at home, but it's not the same as getting out of the house and being treated like a queen, even if it only lasts a half-hour or so.

The trimming of the cuticles and hand massaging feels healthy and satisfying, but what about after your polish is on and your nail technician leads you over to the UV lamps? Most salons these days have you sitting under these lights when you are done. They help speed the drying process for regular manicures and are necessary for gel manicures to set.

Pregnant Women Have a Higher Risk of Skin Cancer.

Some upscale salons do offer gloves for protection, but obviously your fingertips are still bare and are absorbing the proclaimed damaging light. Many women are nervous about the dangerous side effects such as wrinkling and sunspots and the obvious danger of getting skin cancer.

Is it possible that perhaps only those who have fair skin or get manicures on the regular should worry and take extra precautions?

The best polishes to use are formaldehyde- and toluene-free — thus avoiding chemicals linked to carcinogenicity. My recommendation is to avoid these lamps. But we all know not everyone is going to take this advice, as getting gel wraps has been known to last longer than just regular polish.

Only you can decide if you are comfortable with getting under the UV lights, but it is nice to know there are alternatives. And if the side effects make you nervous, you don't have to give up having pretty nails all together — there's always the LED Lamps and air dryers!

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