Research exposes link between nail salon UV rays and cancer

The risk of getting skin cancer from the ultraviolet rays emitted by the lamps that dry polish in nail salons is very small.

Researchers tested seventeen light units from sixteen nail salons.

The lamps used a variety of bulbs with different wattage outputs and emitted various amounts of radiation.

Results show that while higher-wattage ultraviolet lamps did emit more UV radiation, the brief exposure would require multiple visits for potential skin damage and the risk for skin cancer is small.

Researchers recommend the use of sunscreens or protective gloves to decrease skin cancer risk and premature aging even further.

Cleveland clinic dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang says it's even better if you bring the sunscreen with you.

"Very, very small risk. If you're someone who goes to get their nails done once a week and put your hand in there for 10 minutes, you might want to be worried. If you're someone who goes a couple of times a year you're probably fine," says Piliang. If you put sunscreen on your way into the salon it's all going to come off when they do the manicure and wash your hands, but if you maybe take some with you and maybe ask your manicurist to put the sunscreen on for you at the end of the manicure then you would be protected under the light."

The findings appear in the journal "JAMA Dermatology."