Gel nails can wreak havoc on your nails

By on April 7, 2014

Manicure is no longer just about painting the nails. A lot of teens today are hooked on nail art, adding charms and designs to the nails. Nail art is very popular in Japan.

Women, especially teens,  prefer gel manicure to the traditional nail polish because it’s chip-free and lasts twice longer. There’s just one caveat. It can expose your skin to cancer according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Gel polish, being a thicker formula, requires UV lamps to seal polish to the nail but is in fact hard to remove. Nails are soaked in acetone anywhere between 10-15 minutes, a process proven to be too drying to the nails and the skin around it and can cause unwanted wrinkles. Frequent exposure to UV light increases skin cancer risk and in some cases could result in changes in appearance to the exposed skin area. To curb your appetite for gel manicure, here are some tips from AAD expert Dr. Chris Adigun

  • Pay attention to your nails and allow nails to regrow and repair. Consider getting these manicures occasionally rather than every two weeks to decrease the consequences of chemical and physical trauma.
  • When getting manicures, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your hands to minimize photo damage from UV exposure during the curing process
  • Tell your manicurist not to push the cuticle because it increases the risks of inflammation and infection. It also dries out the nail.
  • Use traditional nail polish instead of gel nail polish if you experience recurring nail issues. If you have a known allergy to acetone, the more you should stick to traditional nail polish
  • Rehydrate nails several times a day with a moisturizing product like petroleum jelly to reverse signs of brittleness, thinning or chipping
  • Don’t chip gel nail polish with other nails or tools to remove polish.
  • To decrease skin irritation, soak only the nails, not the whole hands or fingers in acetone while nail polish is being removed. Consider buying finger wraps that expose only the nails and protect surrounding skin if you are a frequent gel manicure user.
  • If you notice any unusual change to the nails, see a board-certified dermatologist

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