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Researchers Find UV Nail Polish Dryers Can Cause DNA Damage And Lead to Cancer-Causing Cell Mutations

Researchers Find UV Nail Polish Dryers Can Cause DNA Damage And Lead to Cancer-Causing Cell Mutations


It’s understandable why gel manicures have become a mainstay in nail salons all over the world since entering the market around 2010. Gel nail lacquer is more resistant to breakage and smearing than traditional nail polish, and it keeps its shine until you remove it from your fingernails. UV Nail Polish Dryer Cancer

The best part, if you’re the impatient type, is that a gel manicure doesn’t require you to wait for it to dry for an hour or more. That advantage results from the way the polish dries. You can use an Ultra Violet lamp to harden gel polish on your hands instead of waiting for it to dry naturally.

Although the risks associated with UV radiation, particularly in tanning beds, are widely recognized, before this week experts had not looked into the potential effects that UV light used to cure gel polish might have on human skin. You may assume that what we know about tanning beds applies here, but the devices used in nail salons emit ultraviolet light from a different spectrum.

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“If you look at the way these devices are presented, they are marketed as safe, with nothing to be concerned about,” Ludmil Alexandrov, a bioengineering professor at UC San Diego and study author, explained. “But to the best of our knowledge, no one has actually studied these devices and how they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular levels until now.”

After reading an article about a beauty pageant winner who was identified as having a rare kind of skin cancer, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego, made the decision to study the devices. UV Nail Polish Dryer Cancer

The study, which was published in Nature Communications on Tuesday, used a combination of human and mouse cells to examine cells under two different UV exposure scenarios. The UV dryers were used on the cells for two 20-minute sessions, with an hour in between. Cells with chronic exposure received one 20-minute session every day for three days in a row from the UV dryers.

Researchers discovered that three consecutive 20-minute UV dryer sessions resulted in 65 to 70% cell death, while a single 20-minute session caused 20 to 30% cell death. The exposure led to mutations in the remaining cells that are typically found in skin cancer.

“We saw multiple things: first, we saw that DNA gets damaged,” Alexandrov said in a statement. “We also saw that some of the DNA damage does not get repaired over time, and it does lead to mutations after every exposure with a UV-nail polish dryer. Lastly, we saw that exposure may cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which may also result in additional mutations. We looked at patients with skin cancers, and we see the exact same patterns of mutations in these patients that were seen in the irradiated cells.”

Researchers believe more data, that spans numerous years, is needed in order to “accurately quantify the risk for skin cancer of the hand in people regularly using UV-nail polish dryers.”

Although it may seem like the suggestion is to stay away from UV dryers, that isn’t the case. For a good reason, gel manicures have become the norm in the industry. Traditional manicures are frequently not worth the time, money, or effort for many people because normal nail paint starts to flake off after a day or so.

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