Gel nail manicures may pose dangers

10:01 AM, Mar 29, 2012   |    comments
(File Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
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(NBC) -- Gel manicures can keep your nail polish looking fresh for weeks, but they could pose dangers that last much longer.

The secret to that rock hard finish is curing the gel under a UV light.

"These UV lights predominantly emit radiation in the UVA range the ultraviolet A range and this is the same range, the same light source that's predominantly used in tanning beds," said skin surgeon, Dr. Paul Martinelli. "It's known to be carcinogenic and cumulative exposure over time will cause an increased risk or association of skin cancers of all kinds including melanoma."

Doctors say UVA can also make your skin look older faster.

It's not yet clear how much effect the nail lights have, but if you do get gel manicures, doctors recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater and cutting the exposure time as much as possible.

(NBC News)

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