Protecting Your Nails

These days, women can do a lot to beautify their appearance. Make-up, hair extensions, you name it -someone’s producing it for us to buy. One thing I have never really considered to be too bad for me is painting my nails. I have been doing them for years, and although I haven’t gone to get them done many times, I’m still skeptical of how the polish effects the growth and health of my nails.

If you get your nails done regularly, take note:

Doctors are warning that the UV lights used to set polish and gel nails may increase the risk of skin cancer. Dr. Richard Langley, director of research at Dalhousie University's dermatology division tells:   "The major concerns we have about UV nail lights or any form of artificial radiation is that you are exposing yourself, often for cosmetic reasons, to a known carcinogen."

A 2009 article published in the Archives of Dermatology suggests a link between skin cancer in two otherwise healthy middle-aged women and their exposure to UV light nail dryers. The study reports that the women had no personal or family history of skin cancer.

A Halifax-based nail technician says that some dryers emit more UV light than others, and suggests that customers should do their homework to find out what type of equipment is being used in the nail salons they frequent. Of course it makes sense to question the safety and cleanliness of any salon. However, avoiding these UV light dryers seems like a no-brainer to me. Regular polish will air-dry with a little time and patience, so there would be no need to forgo manicures completely in this case.

Will you avoid the UV dryers in light of this information, or do you think it is simply an over-reaction?