Can Gel Manicures Kill You?

Can Gel Manicures Kill You?

gel manicure fungus

I am a 90's girl who grew up wearing acrylic nails! When I went away to college, I found it very difficult to maintain the tips between the excessive typing and the excessive cost. After I stopped wearing acrylics, I never picked them up again. Plus I type and text way too much to be bothered with nails! However, I am noticing a HUGE rise in the popularity of Gel Manicures! I have always heard that there were some questionable health issues associated with Gel I did some research on my own!

Gel Manicures are super popular because they are faster, they last longer and they are super shiny! All the things that we love in a MANI!!...and of course they can give you that extra length that you might want!

So How can Gel Manicures Kill You?

The process of drying Gel nails involves that you place your hands under a UV light. Some dermatologists suggest that the lamps can provide sun damage and increase risks of skin cancer. However the beauty industry has blasted this theory and they claim that the lamps are no more dangerous than tanning beds. Honestly, this was NOT a comfort to me. The beauty industries defense regarding the UV light not being as harmful is because you are only using the lamp for 2 minutes. But Most women use the laps for 8-10 minutes to make sure that their nails are dry. So your exposure is 3-4 times the amount that it should be, much more harmful!

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Health Concerns of Gel Manicures:

  • The UV light that is used in the application is a concern to me. I don't want Ultra Violet radiation at all if I can help it!...I wear sunscreen, why would I expose my skin to more UV?
  • The chemicals and tools used to remove gel manicures damage the nails. Your nails have to be soaked in acetone and then your nail is scraped to remove the remaining gel. The scraping is very damaging to your nails! The real nail becomes thin and fragile. One Application of Removing the Gel Manicure can reduce your nail thickness as much as 50%! Ladies if you already have thin nails, this is NOT for you!
  • Serious Infections - Because the nails are damaged, they are cracked and open the nail bed to staff infections and fungus.

Nail Infection

If you are STILL going to get Gel manicures:

  • Make sure that your salon ONLY uses LED lights, you get less of the UV radiation. Make sure that you ask and if the salon staff does not know or does not use UV lights do NOT patronize this salon. Your exposure is much greater with the regular lights!  And don't be afraid to ask!
  • Wear Anti UV Gloves where only your finger tips are exposed!
  • Apply Sunscreen at the time of your manicure

Get Your Own UV FREE Gloves!


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— Sharelle D. Lowery