The Hidden Health Risk Of Gel Manicures

How much damage could that UV light be doing?
PHOTO: Getty

Some people prefer not to go for gel manicures because they can cause damage to the nail, leaving it brittle and vulnerable to breaking. But as Facebook user Lauren Ann has pointed out, there's another risk entirely to having gel nails, and it's one most people wouldn't even have considered.

Posting on Facebook, Lauren uploaded a picture of her best friend's thumb nail which appears to have a reddish-brown stripe down the middle of it.

"That's what #melanoma looks like on a#thumbnail," the post read.

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Because it turns out you can get skin cancer on your nail, and it's a very real danger that people rarely ever think about it. Explaining how her friend came to discover she had skin cancer on her nail, Lauren continued:

"One of my very best friends in the world got gel manicures regularly, like many of us. Prior to her diagnosis I hadn't put too much thought into the dangers of the UV light so closely to the fingers/nails, especially with some fairly newer chemical compound on them."

She no longer has this thumbnail because THANK GOD she was smart enough to go to a dermatologist and he diagnosed her with a rare form of cancer and did surgery. Although she very much misses her 10th nail, she is lucky it did not spread."

Lauren finished off her post urging people to share and spread the message that close contact of fingers to intense UV light is far from healthy. And it's certainly had an impact, having been shared over 72,000 times.

Because it's true, isn't it? We receive so many warnings about the dangers of sunbeds, but they're no different to the UV lighting we use to set our gel manicures.

So remember this if you've got a gel nail habit, and make sure you look out for unusual changes to your nails and the surrounding area.

This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors. 

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