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Frequent Exposure to UV Light at Nail Salon Could Increase Cancer Risk

Findings from a new study show that repeated exposure to the ultraviolet-A light of drying lamps often used in nail salons could slightly increase a patron’s risk of skin cancer.

Although previous studies have unmasked the health dangers of UV rays at tanning salons, researchers say that exposure to carcinogenesis from nail salon drying and curing lamps remains small. However, frequent exposure could cause skin damage.

Researchers from the dermatology program of Georgia Regents University in Augusta,  sampled 17 light units from 16 salons that used a wide variety of UV bulbs. The researchers cited “notable differences” in many of the bulbs and how much UV exposure was imposed on the hands.

“Our data suggests that, even with numerous exposures, the risk of skin cancer remains small,” Dr. Lyndsay Shipp, lead author of study, reported to ProfessionalBeauty. “That said, we concur with previous authors in recommending use of sunscreens or UVA protective gloves to limit the risk of skin cancer and photoaging.”

According to the American Cancer Society, exposure to UV radiation is a risk factor for most skin cancers.

“I wouldn’t tell a patient to stop going unless they were going multiple times a month,”said Shipp to Reuters Health. “There is a theoretical risk, but it’s very low.”

S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on Twitter @ReporterandGirl, and visit her website at

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