EUGENE, Ore. -- Some women find salon trips a great way to treat yourself to the finer things like a gel or shellac nail routine.
However, an article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that those who frequently get their nails manicured with gel could be at risk of skin cancer.
Part of the gel manicure process involves an ultraviolet lighting system that dries the polish, which could cause melanoma.
The study also mentions other side-effects to the gel procedure including nail weakness and dryness around the nail.
Jamie Duffield, owner of NV Salon and Spa in Eugene, said that the exposure time is minimal.
“Each UV light is 9 watts. There's 3 UV lights - that's 27 watts. The time you're exposed to can be anywhere from 30 second to 2 minutes. You're really not exposed that long,” said Duffield.
NV Salon and Spa said people like to get gel nails because they last longer. To apply the nails to the finger requires a light source for curing.
In the article, dermatologists said that moderation in UV light exposure is key. In spite of the potential health hazards, some nail salon clients said they're not worried.
Erin Koss said that the potential health risks of using a UV light to dry her nails hadn’t crossed her mind.
“Relative to nails, I think it's ridiculous. I'd be more worried about it walking around, driving during the day - just being out. It never occurred to me to be concerned about it relative to the gel nail,” said Koss.
To accommodate those who are worried about UV exposure, Duffield said that NV Salon offers the alternative LED drying option. As of now, there are no health drawbacks associated with LED exposure.
“I think with UV being what it is … if you can go LED, great. I think it's probably smarter," Koss said.
“If you're really worried about skin cancer, put (sunscreen) on your skin before you come in,” said Duffield.
The report states that UV ray exposure emitted at salons is not regulated, therefore the health risks are still uncertain. Dermatologists are rather asking people to take the potential risks into account when using nail driers.