UV nail lamps don’t cause cancer: study

For women who love a regular mani-pedi, especially of the gel variety, good news: UV nail lamps don't cause skin cancer, even if you use one once a week for 250 years, according to a new US study. Ten minutes under a UV lamp is designed to offer a quick-drying, long-lasting effect to gel manicures, but dermatologists have warned that the UV exposure puts you at risk. Some advise skipping the lamps altogether or at least slathering on sunscreen before using. A 2009 article published in Archives of Dermatology cited the cases of two women who developed skin cancer on the back of the hands, supposedly linked to repeated exposure to UV nail lamps.

In the new findings, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital measured the radiation from standard nail lamps, including two models using UV fluorescent bulbs and another that relies on LED lights. Then they calculated the "carcinogenic effectiveness" by the same method used to establish the safety of medical devices, explains WebMD.

The findings showed that the lamps are safe for more than 250 years of weekly manicures, and even after that time, your risks would be low, according to study researcher Alina Markova, MD.

The study appeared online December 6 in an advance online publication by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Access it: www.nature.com

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