February 1, 2023

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Scientists: UV lamps used in manicures destroy DNA. It’s about cancer

For more than a decade, scientists have suspected that lamps that use UV light to cure gel nail polish (a popular “hybrid”) may be linked to an increased risk of skin cancer if used routinely, NBC News reported.

The researchers explained that the lamps expose people to UVA rays, which are known to cause skin cancer, as does exposure to the sun or using a tanning bed.

UV rays can damage DNA

NBC reports that a recent study provided new evidence. It turns out that ultraviolet light from nail lamps can damage DNA and cause permanent mutations in human cells, which in turn is linked to the risk of cancer.

“Such damage to cells is just one step on the road to cancer,” said Dr. Julia Curtis, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Utah, who was not involved in the new research.

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As the station notes, the study was not conducted on humans. The researchers exposed human and mouse cells to ultraviolet light in manicure lamps. They noticed that after 20 minutes, 20% of the animals had died. up to 30 percent of cells. After three consecutive 20-minute sessions, 65% of them died. up to 70 percent

Previous analyzes have only associated a few cases of melanoma with nail gel. In 2020, a study found that two American women developed skin cancer on the backs of their hands who had had gel manicures for years. However, researchers have concluded that this type of manicure — which involves applying a gel polish that must then be applied under UV lamps — has little or nothing to do with cancer.

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“I recommend taking the risks into consideration”

“At this point, I would recommend that you think about the risks,” said Maria Zhivago, one of the new study’s authors, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Diego. There is damage at the DNA level. She added that we do not know if it is a carcinogen.

“You won’t find a dermatologist who doesn’t say that UVA rays age you and increase your risk of skin cancer,” said Dr. Loretta Davis, MD, chief of dermatology at Augusta University in Georgia.

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The harmful effects of UV rays accumulate in our bodies, and the study by Dr. Davis is supposed to indicate that the more people get manicures with UV lamps, the greater the risk of damage. “Using a UV lamp every two weeks is probably too much,” said Dr. Davis.

Studies have not shown if there is a safe level of exposure to UVA rays in the course of a manicure or to what extent it can pose a health risk. We’ll have to wait for the final conclusions about the harm of UV lamps. The researchers note that this process could take another 10 years, given the slow pace of research.

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