Shellac your Nails.... but Protect your Hands

Renée A. Beach, MD, FRCPC

CND Shellac™ and other Gel nail procedures are a relatively new manicure/pedicure technology which has achieved the unthinkable: zero-drying time and glossy, chip-free nails for at least two weeks. These technologies employ a UV Lamp to cure the polish. There is scientific proof that both UVA and UVB exposure from light sources leads to premature aging and several types of skin cancer. This holds true for the concentrated exposure to UV light from lamps used in shellac manicures too. In 2012, the British Journal of Dermatology reported 2 instances of women who developed squamous cell cancers on the backs of their hands after consistent use of “UVA lamps for curing gel nails”. Over time and consistent exposure, other hand imperfections may occur including wrinkles, “liver spots”, and precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis. One needs to be smart about this type of UV exposure. At least 15 minutes before starting your manicure, liberally apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30, or greater, to your hands. Alternatively, purchase gloves and cut the fingertips out; the gloves absorb the UV light, instead of your skin. One last tip: be wary of vendors who claim to provide “UPF – UV protective fabric - gloves”, when I pressed these manufacturers for physical proof of their UV-testing,
they admitted they had done none.

Happy (safe) manicuring : -)


Ref:Br J Dermatol. 2012 Jun 18. The risk of squamous cell cancer in females from exposure to UVA lamps used in cosmetic nail treatment.

Bay Dermatology Centre offers a full range of cosmetic procedures. Referral from another doctor is not necessary to see a dermatologist at the centre for more information on one of our services. Patients can also request to meet with our laser technician who runs the laser area of the clinic to discuss any of the various cosmetic procedures offered at the Bay Dermatolgoy Centre.



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