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Health risk: So far unknown skin cancer risk in nail salons


Hardening and drying with UV lamps: risk of skin cancer in the nail salon?

Health experts repeatedly point out not to underestimate the sun's rays, since ultraviolet radiation is clearly carcinogenic. However, some people not only expose themselves to UV rays, but also, for example, in the nail salon, where the fingernails are hardened and dried with UV lamps after the treatment. Specialists therefore recommend protective measures to prevent cancer.

Tips to avoid skin cancer

To avoid skin cancer, experts advise, among other things, not to expose yourself to excessive UV radiation; so don't spend too much time in the sun. Visits to the solarium are usually not recommended. There are also indications that some treatments in the nail salon can increase the risk of cancer and should therefore be avoided. However, this risk is assessed differently by scientists.

Individual risk is assessed very differently

Whether classic, neon-colored or artistically decorated - professionally painted and modeled fingernails are a fashionable eye-catcher.

But the ultraviolet radiation from the lamps, which is usually used to harden or dry the splendor, is suspected of increasing the risk of white skin cancer.

Scientists estimate the individual danger very differently, but recommend protective measures for prevention regardless of their examination results.

The cancer information service of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) also endorses this recommendation.

The majority of women believe in an increased risk of cancer in the nail salon

The DKFZ reports in a message about a current survey, the results of which were published in the specialist magazine "Australasian Journal of Dermatology".

Of the 415 Australian women surveyed, 72 percent believed that there was an increased risk of cancer due to UV-A lamps in the nail salon.

82 percent of those questioned were prepared to immediately forego nail modeling if this suspicion became true.

To make sure

UV-A light is generally classified as carcinogenic, but depending on the duration and intensity of the radiation. The shorter the exposure time, the less the skin damage.

Nevertheless, Dr. recommends Susanne Weg-Remers, head of the cancer information service: "If you don't want to do without modeled nails, you should take UV protection measures when visiting the nail studio to keep your risk as low as possible."

Specifically, the expert advises: “Use sun blockers or sunscreens with a high sun protection factor. Fingerless gloves also provide protection. "

Negligible risk?

The possible connection between UV-A lamps and the development of skin cancer is controversial among scientists.

The following results speak for a low risk of cancer: According to a mathematical model, ten or even hundreds of thousands of individuals would have to use one of the usual UV lamps on a regular basis until a person developed skin cancer on the back of their hands.

A scientific study comes to the conclusion that 13,700 sessions with strong to medium-strong UV lamps are equivalent to the stress caused by a single phototherapy application for the treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis.

Or a serious problem?

Other voices warn not to take the risk lightly. Because, according to the conclusion of a study, only ten minutes of radiation with the UV lamp correspond approximately to the recommended maximum radiation dose for a whole day.

Another investigation comes to the conclusion that, depending on the lamp used, DNA damage can occur after just eight nail studio visits.

An uneven distribution of radiation with very different UV-A doses on different skin areas can also be problematic.

However, there is agreement on the recommendation for practice: As long as no conclusive results are available, the recommended protective measures should definitely be taken. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Gel manicure UV light poses possible cancer risk (August 2020).