Nail salon UV drying lamps under scrutiny

April 12, 2012 5:46:07 PM PDT
There are questions not about the polish, but about the ultraviolet drying lamps used at nail salons.

Gel manicures are gaining popularity for their gleaming colors and long-lasting wear. However, the gel dries under these UV lamps. Some doctors say they can cause skin cancer. The nail industry says they won't.

"These little light boxes actually contain the same ultraviolet light that we see in tanning beds and we know tanning beds have been associated with melanoma," dermatologist Bruce Katz said.

"You simply have to look at them and know they're obviously not like tanning beds," Nail Manufacturers Council spokesperson Doug Schoon said. "When you use these lamps your fingers don't get tanned, they don't even get burned."

Either way, the solution is to wear sunscreen on your hands when you go for a gel manicure.