Gel Manicures – Not So Pretty After All A research study published in JAMA Dermatology in 2009 showed a case of two middle-aged women, who had no history of skin cancer, developing tumors on their hands. According to a March 6 report in the New York Post, these tumors resulted following their exposure to the UV nail lights during their gel manicures. Dr. Chris Adigun, Department of Dermatology at NYU, warns women of gel manicures in her recent article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. So the question arises – are these gel manicures worth it? The gel polish lasts longer since UV heat lamps are used to ‘seal’ the polish in place. While the strength of this UV lamp is less than those of tanning beds, they still pose a risk. Furthermore, these types of manicures leave the nails weaker and thinner. While you don’t have to completely stop getting gel manicures, the recommendation is to get these manicures very rarely. And be sure to apply sunscreen before exposing your hands to the UV light each time. Another low cost solution – gel nail polish that does not need UV light to set in. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod3850069&categoryId=cat80068#sku2257349 It is available at beauty stores like Ulta, Sally’s and even online. I tested out this option and while it is not truly chip free (I had chips on the second day), it did have the patent leather shine. Now granted I shower kids and do dishes every day, by day 5 it was significantly chipped. But if you are looking for that long lasting shine, then it provided that without the possible health risks. It was pretty easy to take off as well. Thankfully none of the drying effects or thinning of the nails persisted. Bottom line…Save those gel manicures for a very special occasion. There are other options out there!