I am a “girly-girl” and love to get some “mommy time” by myself. My favorite way to relax is a manicure and pedicure a couple of times per month. I’m lucky enough that my mother-in-law enjoys babysitting for a morning each week and allows me to escape my normal daily routine and get pampered. Last year, I discovered that a new gel polish (a.k.a Shellac), cured by a UV light, will last on my nails chip-free for a solid 2 weeks, I haven’t looked back at regular polish.
Having well-manicured nails makes me feel better about myself. If my fingernails aren’t polished I revert back to my old habit of chewing my cuticles until they bleed at the *first* hint of stress. When my cuticles become raw and ragged, I can’t stop picking them. So for me, regular manicures help keep my sanity- whatever works right?
Here is my problem: are UV gel manicures safe? I have a history of skin cancer. I also have an appointment next Tuesday to get more surgery to remove more pre-cancerous lesions that if left alone could turn into melanoma. You would NEVER catch me in a tanning bed anymore (I did occasionally visit in high school/college before I realized how dangerous they were), so why is it ok to put my hands under a UV light that seems like a mini-tanning bed? I have consulted Google and am disappointed with the results. All I found were news reports and articles written by the nail industry. The best newspaper article I found, from the Sun Sentinel, interviews a Hollywood dermatologist who claims the UV light is safe. How do I know she wasn’t “bought” by the nail industry?
I’ve been debating if I should continue with my regular gel manicures or not. I even tried having no nail polish on for the week I went to Orcas, WA, only to return with red & sore cuticles. My husband was home from work today so I was able to visit my nail salon, but I totally felt guilty getting a gel manicure. However, I did put sunscreen on my hands before putting them under the light to “cure.” I don’t know if that’s enough, but I do know my health is more important than well-manicured hands.
If you’ve found my blog by researching skin cancer, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to head over to Chelsea’s blog at Adventures with My Enemy Melanoma. I found Chelsea’s blog when the mole on my lip got swollen and reading her story motivated me to schedule an appointment with my doctor ASAP. I hope you will find her story inspiring and help spread the word that tanning is NOT safe!
What are your thoughts on UV gel manicures: safe or not?