Getting a Manicure? Better Wear Sunscreen

High-wattage nail-salon lamps are great for reducing drying time, but they may emit more UV-A radiation, according to a new study. And while the good news is that the risk of both cancer and DNA damage is small, clients should wear protective sunscreen or gloves during the process.

Researchers from Georgia Regents University in Atlanta, tested 17 light units from 16 salons. The units had varying ranges of bulbs, wattage and radiance. Higher-wattage lamps emitted more radiation than lower-wattage ones, the investigators found.

In the article, published in JAMA Dermatology, the authors concluded that their data indicated that “even with numerous exposures, the risk for carcinogensis, remains small. That said, we concur with previous authors in recommending use of physical blocking sunscreens or UV-A protective gloves to limit the risk of carcinogenesis and photoaging.”

There has been some concern about the risk of cancer stemming from nail-salon lamps that emit radiation. This is the first study to include a sampling of various lights.

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