A lot of women visit the beauty salon as frequently as once per week to make sure their nails are looking their absolute best all of the time.
However, as outlined by cosmetic dermatologists, that routine could possibly be putting people in real danger of an infection or maybe even cancer.
Gel manicures have become increasingly common in recent years, which use UV rays to set the polish so it lasts longer without chipping or flaking.
That extra exposure to dangerous rays, many people worry, could be causing their hands to age prematurely, or even develop skin cancer.
Even in more traditional manicures, improperly sanitized tools or allowing the cosmetician to clip cuticles could cause exposure to bacteria or fungi.
Daily Mail Online spoke to California-based dermatologist Dr Marie Jhin and Dr Jackie Dosal, who works out of Florida, who gave their advice to keep your fingers safe at the nail salon.
The UV light exposure during a gel manicure is so low, Dr Jhin explained, it is unlikely to cause cancer.
However, she said, ‘most (skin cancer) comes the more you are exposed to light.’
‘Unless it’s a melanoma, it’s all about cumulative exposure. So if you’re in the UV light daily, it all adds up. The less you’re exposed to it, the less likely you are to have skin cancer,’ she explained.
Dr Dosal said that, while the exposure to cancer-causing rays are low, ‘lamps vary in their UV exposure, and even in those in which exposure is low, it’s more than we previously thought.’
For people who don’t want to give up their nail care routine, Dr Dosal says, there are other options.
‘I still get them every other week, but wear gloves,’ she explained. ‘But I would also recommend people wear sunscreen on their hands if they are going to have a gel manicure.
‘Even if it just prevents premature aging, I think it’s something most women should consider.’
Cuticles protect the fingernail from outside forces, so cutting them, Dr Jhin explained, ‘is creating an entry way for bacteria and fungus.’
‘It’s definitely something I wouldn’t recommend,’ she said, ‘It can cause fungal or bacterial infections, and which I’ve seen quite a few of at my work.’
Dr Dosal agreed, saying: ‘I don’t always follow my advice, but you’re not supposed to cut your cuticles.’
‘It’s better to be very gentle, and to push them back from the nail if you can’t avoid cutting them at all,’ she explained.
Another thing dermatologists warned about is the level of sanitation at a nail salon.
‘I like to see the tools being cleaned or pulled out a pre-sealed bag in front of me,’ Dr Dosal explained.
She also said the best thing is to be cognizant of the salon you are having your nails done, and to make sure you are paying attention.
‘Some people even like to go so far as to bring their own tools. I don’t need to do that as long as I am sure they have been cleaned ahead of time,’ Dr Dosal explained.
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