A UV light nail dryer in use during a manicure
July is UV Safety Month. The message to wear sun protection and stay out of tanning beds is being broadcast for all to hear.
The Doctors on the safety of UV light nail dryers
During an “Ask Our Doctors” segment of the show (original air date May 5, 2010), The Doctors resident dermatologist Dr. Andrew Ordon addressed a viewer’s concern about the safety of UV gel manicures and the UV nail dryer used for curing the finish.
Dr. Ordon explained the DNA of skin cells mutate when exposed to ultraviolet light and this increases the risk of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
He then tested the amount of UV light produced by a standard UV nail dryer using a Sper Scientific UV-A/B Light Meter. As co-host Dr. Jim Sears explained to viewers that a meter reading of over 100 was bad, Dr. Ordon turned the monitor so all could see a reading that climbed to 8,617 before giving a final result of high UV exposure.
Dr. Ordon referenced research from the University of Texas that found squamous cell carcinoma on the hands of two women who had no predisposing factors for skin cancer, except for repeated the use of UV light nail dryers during manicures. The research, which was published in the medical journal Archives of Dermatology, states the amount of UV radiation exposure per meter produced by UV nail dryer lights (once one adjusts for body surface and bulb wattage) is comparable to that of tanning beds.
When asked for his final recommendation by co-host Dr. Travis Stork, Dr. Ordon suggested women opt for regular fan dryers during their manicures and pedicures. In his opinion, using the UV nail dryer is not worth the skin cancer risk.
Watch for free skin cancer screenings throughout the year. For example, several Indianapolis health organizations offered free skin cancer screenings in May as part of Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month.
The Doctors airs weekdays at 4:00 p.m. on WISH-TV Channel 8 Indianapolis.