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Can gel manicures cause cancer? Be careful with UV light

You know you are supposed to slather sunscreen all over yourself before you go out to catch some rays. But did you know that some doctors recommend that you do the same before you hit the nail salon for a manicure or pedicure? Yup.
Consider the cautionary tale of Karolina Jasko, Miss Illinois USA. When the 20-year-old noticed a thin black line on her fingernail, one often obscured by nail polish, she went to the doctor and got diagnosed with melanoma.
Bernadine Boyce, of Allentown, Pa., applies sunscreen to Bruno Barber, 5, of Atlantic City, as mom, Natalia Barber, watches in Atlantic City, N.J., Friday, June 9, 2006. Experts say the best protection against dangerous cancers like melanoma are sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone. (AP Photo/Mary Godleski) Mary Godleski/Associated Press
“The doctor said I most likely got it from getting my nails done from the nail salon from getting acrylics from the light,” she said, as KTVU cited.
The light boxes and lamps that are used to seal gel manicures onto your nails may be a cause of concern because of the UVA rays they emit, some suggest.
As KTVU reports , Dr. Carolyn Jacob, the director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, said that “whether indoor tanning, UV lamp, outdoor tanning, all of those can cause aging of the skin and potential for skin cancers.”
According to the  American Academy of Dermatolog y, UV exposure during gel manicures should be a concern for everyone, but especially for those who are highly sensitive to UV light.
Chris G. Adigun, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in nail disorders,  told ABC5 that although the UVA rays don’t burn the skin like UVB rays, they do penetrate the skin, damage collagen and may increase skin cancer risk.
“The UV dose that you receive during a gel manicure is brief, but it’s intense,” Dr. Adigun  told ABC5 . “Over time, this intense exposure can add up to cause skin damage.”
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Experts suggest using a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to protect your skin. Or you can try wearing fingerless gloves at the salon.
 

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