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The researchers said that the occasional use of nail drying lamps seemed to involve minimal risk. However, they also found that there were “notable differences” in the amount of UV-A light emitted by the various devices, and the amount of exposure to the hands also varied depending on the positioning of the device.

This is not the first study to look at nail drying lamps. Among others, a 2009 study in the Archives of Dermatology associated frequent nail salon visits to cases of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Dermatologists also said that studies like this bring to light another concerning issue – the troubling lack of regulation regarding nail lamps, which has led to huge differences in bulbs, wattage and irradiance between lamps, to the point where salons may be unaware that they’re potentially exposing their clients to dangerous UV rays.

Experts agree that precautions should be taken to help limit cancer risk:

  • Apply sunscreen on your hands before using drying lamps.
  • Limit the use of drying lamps whenever possible, such as only using drying lamps every other month.

Can Nail Salons Cause…Cancer?  was originally published on

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