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Gel Manicures Might Cause You More Trouble Than They’re Worth

ABC News

Autumn Smith, Reporter

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Gel manicures are very popular, but do you know the risks you’re taking when getting one?

Nowadays, these manicures can be performed by licensed technicians in a salon or at home with ultraviolet (UV) light lamps and special gel polish people can order online or find in any beauty supply store.

These gel manicures have many benefits that make them seem like the best option for someone to get.

The gel manicures have much greater staying power than manicures done with normal polish. Even with a top coat, normal polish will chip in a few days. The gel polish, after being cured under a UV lamp, can last weeks without taking any damage.

The gel manicures also provide a satisfying shine to your nails that regular polish doesn’t create.

Some even argue they help their nails grow longer and stronger, thanks to the protective layer of polish.

Overall, gel manicures improve the appearance of your nails, especially in comparison to normal polish.

However, the beauty of gel manicures comes with health risks most are unaware of.

The UV lamps used in gel manicures emit UVA rays instead of UVB rays like the sun. These UV rays do not burn the skin, but are four time more powerful than the sun’s rays according to aad.org.

The excessive amount of radiation from these lamps could possibly lead to skin cancer. It’s already known that overexposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer if the proper precautions are not taken and this is no different in these lamps.

If the threat of cancer isn’t frightening enough, these UV rays also lead to premature aging and wrinkles in the skin.

The removal process for these gel manicures is also very bad for your skin and nails. Acetone, the chemical used to remove gel manicures, is very dangerous.

To remove the nails you must soak your finger tips in pure acetone. “This may cause the original nail plate to separate from the nail bed and create a gap where moisture can accumulate, causing bacteria like yeast to grow,” said iuhealth.org.

Can’t give up this regular treat? There are ways to make this manicure more safe, however.

To protect your skin from the UV lighting, wearing sun-proof fingerless gloves or applying high SPF sunscreen to your hands will help reduce the absorption of UV rays into the skin.

It is always better to have this manicure performed by professions in a nail salon, but if you want to perform this at home, buy gel polishes and UV lamps that are the same brand. The instructions between brands may vary, so matching products is much safer.

Prior to removal, filing down the gel polish will make it easier for the acetone to penetrate and remove the gel polish. This will mean less time soaking in the acetone and less damage done to your nails overall.

Applying nail oil to the cuticles and the nails often will aid in hydration of the nail and nail bed and help to prevent the separation of the nail plate from the nail bed.

It is also a good idea to give your nails time to recover between manicures. You should give your nails one to two weeks to rest after removal before applying a new gel manicure.

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Gel Manicures Might Cause You More Trouble Than They’re Worth