For glamour girls no look is complete without well-manicured hands, but getting regular manicures can be tough on your nails. The American Academy of Dermatologists is particularly worried about the popular gel manicures.
Expensive gel manicures are all the rage because the polish is long-lasting and won’t chip for two weeks, which is ideal for women who love a polished look. To seal the polish to your nails, your hands are put under Ultraviolet lamps. Because of its staying power, the gel polish must be removed by soaking your hands in acetone for 10 to 15 minutes.
This is what concerns dermatologists. According to a American Academy of Dermatologists press release, one study showed that some women who regularly received gel manicures had damage to their nails including nail weakness, brittleness, and thinning.
According to Chris Adigun, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at New York University School of Medicine in New York, N.Y., it’s unclear whether the damage was from chemicals in the gel polish or the long acetone soaks.
Dr. Adigun is also concerned about the skin cancer risk of putting your hands under UV light. In addition, when you’re constantly getting your nails done it’s difficult to notice any problems under the nail including infections or tumors.
“In general, any manicure left in place for an extended period of time is not a good idea because you are not seeing what is going on underneath the nail polish,” said Dr. Adigun.
She recommends those who like to indulge in gel manicures to do so occasionally to let their nails regrow and recuperate. She also advises to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen on your hands to protect them from UV light used in the gel sealing process. Keep your hands and nails moisturized by using petroleum jelly and ask your manicurist not to push back your cuticles to prevent inflammation and infection. If you notice any nail damage, switch to regular nail polished manicures.
“As is the case with most things, moderation is the key when it comes to gel manicures. If you get them regularly, you need to be aware of the possible consequences and see a board-certified dermatologist if a persistent nail problem develops.”