Cancer May Be Waiting At Your Next Manicure


According to a new study, getting your nails done can increase your risk of skin cancer — so if you love your manis read closely…

New research says you might be getting cancer in addition to your totally cute manicure when you leave the nail salon. Yikes!

OK, don’t panic right away. Getting a mani/pedi and air-drying your nails does NOT put you at a higher risk of getting skin cancer. Using the UV lights, however, to dry your nails (the lights that dry your gel manicures) can put you at greater risk.

According to a JAMA Dermatology report, the dryers vary in how much UVA light they give off, so in most cases you don’t have anything to worry about (but you should still be cautious). “The researchers estimated that for most the lamps tested, 8 to 14 visits over 24 to 42 months would reach the threshold for DNA damage to the skin,” the report says.

Manicures add up fast… especially if you get them once a week! We’re definitely going to keep this in mind the next time we hit the nail salon — eek!

Although studies about risks for multiple manicure trips are untested, the likelihood of getting skin cancer from your weekly mani trips is low. “There is a theoretical risk, but it’s very low,” says Dr. Lyndsay R. Shipp, the study’s lead author and postgraduate resident at Georgia Regents University’s Medical College.

Even with “low risk,” staying away from the UV nail light devices is your best option when getting your nails done — especially if you get them done more than once a month.

Just skip the fancy dryer and opt for air-drying the next time you pamper yourself. It will give you piece of mind and honestly doesn’t take that much longer (it gives you an excuse for an extra couple of minutes out of the house)!



Johnni is a Southern California native, TV addict and lover of all-things British (she might practice speaking with an accent in hopes it will stick someday). She’s a hippie at heart with a major watermelon obsession. Oh, and she can pull super-pretty photos at a moment’s notice, too.

  • Marissa Jones

    WHAT. this is so sad…i love gel nails