Gel manicures are pretty and last a long time. But are they potentially dangerous? New research shows the lights used during the manicures can increase your risk of cancer.
During a gel manicure, a gel-like substance is applied to the nail and then baked under a ultraviolet light, which can cause skin cancer, according to one doctor.
"I can't tell you exactly what the risk is for each individual woman because some women are using them more frequently than others, but the risk is there," said Dr. Chris Adigun, a dermatologist who specializes in nails.
During her research on gel, also known as shellac manicures, she found that UV exposure isn't the only potential problem.
"Women tend to wear these gel manicures because they are durable but they might not notice the changes underneath their nails," she said. "And so it hinders my ability to police or evaluate their nails for disease or tumors."
Dr. Adigun said you don't have to completely stay away, just remember that less is more.
"I suggest moderation is key," she said.
Doctors say if you have to get this type of manicure, your best bet on staying safe is to use sunscreen on your hands.