Gel Manicures Are Not Safe

In yet another installment of my “believe it or not” series, I was surprised to learn that the drying process used in most gel manicures causes cancer.  

I have never had a manicure and have little idea of what a gel manicure is. I have been told that it is the current “best quality” type of manicure available and preferred by most customers.  

Apparently, ultraviolet lights (“UV Lights”) are used to cure and dry gel manicures, and the lights cause cancer.  

Picture of a lady getting a gel manicure

UltraViolet Lights

UV Lights are the same lights used on UV tanning beds (which are well-known cancer risks) and the same as the UV light that the sun produces (we all know that we are supposed to wear sunblock to prevent skin damage from too much sunlight).  

Just as too much sunlight isn’t good for your skin and will, over time, cause skin cancer, it is the same with manicurists’ UV Lights.  In fact, given the concentrated UV light on a tiny part of the body, it may be worse.  

What you need to know…

Like many things that seem bad, the solution to this problem is pretty simple.  

The easiest and the best fix is don’t get gel manicures.  If you avoid gel manicures, the problem will go away.  People survived for thousands of years before gel manicures, which are not a necessary part of life. 

However, if you must have a gel manicure, wear a manicure glove before putting your hand under the UV Lights. 

Also, try to reduce the aggregate amount of time that you have your hand under UV Light (meaning get fewer gel manicures), and apply sunscreen to your hands before going to the manicurist.  

Below is a picture of a manicure glove you can purchase on Amazon for less than $20.00.   They offer several types of gloves that cost between $10.00 and $20.00 (I don’t believe that Amazon sells pedicure gloves).  


Are you Immunocompromised?

And, if you are immunosuppressed, don’t get a gel manicure.  Your body’s ability to fight off skin cancer is compromised.  

But the bigger question is while having pretty nails is nice, is it worth the skin cancer risk?  I don’t believe that any cosmetic treatment is worth the risk of getting skin cancer – but then again, I have never had a manicure.