Gel manicures could pose a risk of skin cancer, research suggests

  • 04/05/2018
Gel manicures could pose a risk of skin cancer, research suggests
Photo credit: AAP

Gel manicures could pose a serious cancer risk.

According to the American Medical Association of Dermatology, radiation damage can occur within 12 visits to a nail salon, caused by the UV lamps. 

However, research remains mixed on whether the strength of the UV rays causes the damage.

The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) says even the strongest devices available only present a moderate UV risk as the exposure is brief and minimal.

The Foundation recommends applying sunscreen on hands 20 minutes prior to exposure under the lamps.

SCF warns against both LED and UV lights, which emit UV radiation.

University of Otago Professor Tony Reeder recommends avoiding the lamps altogether. 

"People should wear sunscreen on their hands when they're [getting nails done]," Prof Reeder told Stuff.

"But it wouldn't protect some areas at all."

While evidence linking the skin cancer to gel manicures isn't concrete, Prof Reeder says links between UA rays and cancers are too strong to ignore.

"There is evidence that it can cause DNA damage. It's not necessarily repaired either."

New Zealand has the highest rates of melanoma in the world.

Skin cancer costs the country around $57 million every year.