Experts: UV nail dryers may cause cancer

By Beth Sweeney - bio | email
Posted by Adam Thiele - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Some doctors are warning about a piece of equipment in nail salons used by tens of thousands of women.

There's now evidence ultraviolet dryers may cause skin cancer.

Nail salon customer Natasha Mohler says, "It's UV cured. It can last up to 14 days without chipping so you can do housework and dishes and still have color on your nails and look good."

But that good looking finish can come at a cost.

When you're dealing with a known carcinogen you're playing with fire.

Dr. Richard Langley is a dermatologist who spends a lot of time removing skin cancers. He says any kind of artificial radiation raises the risk of skin cancer.

"We have case studies of patients reported in the scientific medical literature of otherwise young patients who've had very little evidence of sun damage elsewhere. Around the nails where they've had these treatments, have developed skin cancers and in some cases multiple skin cancers" Dr. Langley says.

Dr. Langley is appealing to people on-line.

The companies that sell the dryers down play the amount of radiation they emit. They say it's equivalent to eight hours under office lighting.

Nail technician Donna Roach says in the eight years she's used them, none of her clients have had a problem. But she welcomes the attention to the issue, because she says some dryers emit more UV than others.

"I think it's all about being well informed and doing your own research and calculating you own risk" Roach says.

"To me the message is avoid it unless absolutely necessary" Dr. Langley says.