Nothing beats the feeling that you get a fresh manicure and pedicure. It’s more than just the physical beauty, it’s mentally therapeutic as well. In fact, once I got introduced to this world, I became obsessed. It was a top priority in my budget. I liked to go for mani-pedis by myself and have a conversation with my nail technician who was funny and very engaging. After that, I would leave the parlour feeling brand new. My self-esteem shot up by a few notches and I felt like I was ready to take over the world. Recently, however, I got wind of some information that gel polish is not good for my health and seeing as this parlour did not offer any alternatives, I stopped going altogether.
When you go to the nail parlour there are usually two options. You can either apply gel or ordinary nail polish. Gel polish has some advantages over ordinary polish. It lasts longer, dries quickly and protects the nails from breaking. However, the problem is that the gel application process has been linked to having carcinogenic properties.
If you’re like most people, you probably ignore some of these things because if you pay too much attention you might actually never eat or do anything. A lot of things have been associated with cancer. For me, I had this information for a while but I dismissed it as a rumour. I don’t know how logical this sounds, but when I asked the technician she told me that nails are dead skin, and the rays only affect the skin. This actually made sense and I dismissed the claims. However, there was a time I was at the parlour and as soon as I put my hands in there I started to feel a slight burn on my skin. I panicked so much that I vowed never to put on gel polish again, and since then I decided to stick to the ordinary polish. Upon further research, I discovered that there were claims that these rays are in fact harmful to the body.
Gel polish in itself does not have a link to cancer. It’s the lamps and lightboxes that are used to seal the gel polish on the nails that have a problem. They emit a fairly high level of Ultraviolet A rays which play a major role in the development of cancer. Ultraviolet A rays are longer wavelengths than ultraviolet B, and so they have the ability to penetrate the skin more deeply. These rays contribute to an increased risk of skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology warned nail salon frequenters that, although your time spent using the lamps is short, those UV rays are four times stronger than that of the sun, which can really add up over longtime use.
A lady by the name Karolina Jasko was diagnosed with melanoma at only age 18. This is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. According to her doctor, the likely culprit was her nail salon visits. “I got this black vertical line on my fingernail and I never really noticed it because I had acrylics. The doctor said I most likely got it from getting my nails done from the nail salon,” she told Fox 32.
There are a few protective measures that you can put in place if you still choose to get gel manicures done. For starters, use waterproof sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher, on your hands before your manicure. This will act as a barrier between the harmful rays of light and your skin. You might also consider cutting the fingertips off a pair of gloves and wearing them when your nails are manicured. I would also suggest that you take time before going back to the nail parlour for your next gel application. Don’t go too frequently.
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