Health concerns over UV nail lamps re-emerge, despite lack of evidence

Health concerns over usage of UV lamps in gel-polish manicures have re-emerged, despite a lack of evidence that normal use is linked to skin cancer.

In a recent Australasian Journal of Dermatology article a group of plastic surgeons advised the application of broad-spectrum sunscreen before a gel-polish manicure, echoing guidance from the American Academy of Dermatology and The Skin Cancer Foundation in the US.

Concerns first arose about the link between UV nail lamps and the development of skin cancer in 2012. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, US assessed the risk with the use of three UV nail lamp models considered to be representative of standard UV nail lamps.

At the time they said it would take 250 years of weekly exposure for 10 minutes continuously per session before the lamps would begin to increase the risk of cancer.

In the most recent report, the surgeons from the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University Hospital Galway in Ireland said that there had been observational case reports that link UV lamps to skin cancer on the hands.

However, they acknowledged there was a lack of evidence and that the actual risk associated with gel-polish manicures is yet to be established.