If you've always wondered whether it was safe to use UV lamps to dry your nail polish after a manicure, your concerns aren't unfounded.
According to latest research from the Australasian Journal of Dermatology, using UV nail lamps to harden nail polish - particularly gel nail polish - have the potential to cause skin cancer.
The UV lights emitted from such lamps are present in natural sunlight and are also used in tanning beds, which are known to present a risk of sun cancer. According to Australia Science Channel, commercial sunbeds have been banned in Australia since 2016.
Researchers from University Hospital Galway, Ireland, explained that although nail lamps emit low levels of UV radiation and customers are exposed to it for short periods, UV damage adds up over time. In a Reuters report in 2014, researchers had found that it would take between eight and 208 visits, depending on the machine, to damage skin cells in a way that raises cancer risk.
However, researchers recommend customers to apply sunscreen on their hands 20 minutes before the manicure treatment and exposing their fingers to potentially harmful UV rays.
The recent study cited an online survey of 424 individuals. Researchers found that only 9 per cent believed there was a cancer risk from a LED lamp, whereas 72 per cent believed there was a cancer risk with using a UV nail lamp.
Most of the participants surveyed (82%) said that they would not proceed with a gel manicure if there was a known associated risk to cancer.
So remember to slap on some sunscreen on your hands next time before treating yourself to a fresh manicure.