The connection between gel polish and skin cancer and the alternatives that exist

A new study published in January 2023 in the scientific journal " Nature Communications " indicates a link between the ultraviolet lamps used to dry the nail during gel polish treatment and an increase in the risk of getting cancer. The web is turbulent, but don't worry - there is an excellent alternative.

In the middle of January, the Israeli news site Ynet published a huge article reporting on a study published in the scientific journal "Nature". First of all, it is important to note that the article was published in the journal "Nature Communications" and not in "Nature", but the point is the same. The study indicates a link between ultraviolet lamps used during gel nail polish treatments and an increase in the risk of getting cancer. According to the journal, it is written that the lamp may lead to the death of cells and irreversible damage to the DNA of those who use the same ultraviolet lamp.

What exactly did they discover in the study?

In the research carried out, cells that simulate human cells (or any other type of mammal) were studied, and it was shown that if they were irradiated using the drying lamp, they could cause the formation of mutations in the DNA of those cells. Science has known for some time, since the same mutations that were discovered, may in later stages cause skin cancer.
Is this a direct proof that gel polish is carcinogenic?
No, this is not a conclusive and direct proof, but it is a relatively necessary conclusion, since it is clear that if women and girls use this machine, and these mutations are indeed formed in the cells - there is some probability of the development of skin cancer.
סרטן בעקבות שימוש במכונת ייבוש לק ג'ל
Illustration, photo: Unsplash

The nail polish itself is harmless, so why not dry it without a lamp?

First of all, on the gel itself there is quite a bit of evidence concerning allergies and reactions of one and other types, especially when products of this type use quite a few substances aimed at producing resistance. Either way, in order to dry gel polish, one must make use of either a UV lamp or an LED lamp, on both of which there are enough studies and information to believe that these may indeed cause damage. Therefore, currently there is really no real solution for drying gel polish without using one of these.

Is this something that was known before?

Yes, already in a study from 2013 it was found that already in less than 10 minutes palms dried in a drying lamp receive radiation in a dose that is equivalent to the maximum dose allowed for daily exposure. If in an average treatment most girls will put their hands in the dryer for about 15 minutes, this means that everyone who visits their manicurist once a month is indeed exposing herself to an unrecommended level of radiation.

Does the effect eventually add up?

Yes, according to data from the Cancer Society, this is cumulative radiation. Therefore, it is recommended to reduce it as much as possible and limit it to no more than 10 minutes at a time. This is according to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The American Association of Dermatologists (AAD) recommends using a sunscreen with a protection factor of at least SPF-30 on the hands and nails before and during the use of these lamps.

If I use sunscreen, am I safe?

The answer is not exactly, it has not been scientifically proven that applying sunscreen while using the drying lamp will completely reduce the chances of getting cancer, but it is known to science based on previous studies that this is a mechanism similar to tanning in tanning beds or tanning with direct exposure to the sun. Therefore, the general assumption is that there is some positive value to the use of a radiation filter during gel polish treatment.

What is recommended for women who use black gel, to avoid it?

There are quite a few carcinogens in our lives, in today's era it is very difficult to avoid them all, therefore it is not possible and probably should not be said emphatically that the use of gel polish should be stopped, it can also be said that it is highly desirable to apply sunscreen to your hands before using the dryer and also try and periodically use substitutes such as glue nails which are a better and healthier solution.

Where can I buy nails for sticking?

We highly recommend trying the Impress company's nails, which are manufactured in the USA and meet strict conditions and standards, and it is also known that they allow the nail a space for recovery and do not require drying by using an ultraviolet UV lamp or an LED lamp.

ציפורניים להדבקה שאינן מסרטנות ובטוחות לשימוש. צילום: ImPRESS