Putting a Nail in Your Skin Cancer Risk
|The next time you visit a nail salon, you’ll want to think about more than what color polish to apply. Experts say that gel manicures, popular for long-lasting quality, can lead to an increased risk for skin cancer due to UV light necessary to dry nails. UV light has been shown to cause skin damage, including forms of skin cancer. Studies looking at the effects of UV light in tanning beds have linked indoor tanning to an increased risk for squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, as well as malignant melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer.
“Generally, the risk for skin cancer from gel manicures is relatively low,” says Sarah Goodyear, MD, oncologist. “However, if you’re getting repeated UV exposure, you’ll raise your risk for skin cancer and skin damage in the nail bed—where it is harder to treat.”
If you plan to continue your gel manicure ritual, apply SPF sunscreen to your hands before getting your nails done. Sunscreen will help to protect your hands while they’re exposed to UV light.
• Cancer Care at Grand View Hospital
• Skin Cancer 101