"I got this black vertical line on my fingernail and I never really noticed it because I had acrylics. The doctor said I most likely got it from getting my nails done from the nail salon—from getting acrylics from the light." —Karolina Jasko
Jasko was diagnosed with melanoma two years ago at only 18—the most dangerous (and most deadly) form of skin cancer. According to her doctor, the likely culprit was her nail salon visits. "I got this black vertical line on my fingernail and I never really noticed it because I had acrylics. The doctor said I most likely got it from getting my nails done from the nail salon," she says.
Though she might have been at a higher risk due to a previous family history of melanoma, Carolyn Jacob, MD, director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, says everyone should be careful when getting gel manicures. It might not feel as naughty as lying in a tanning bed, but it's really all the same. "Whether indoor tanning, UV lamp, outdoor tanning, all of those can cause aging of the skin and potential for skin cancers," she says.
With this news, you're probably wondering: Are gel manis officially off the table? Not totally. According to Dr. Jacob, the key is simply upping the protection during your visits by using sunscreen with a "physical blocker like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to cover all of your skin," as well as protective gloves. Since not all salons will provide you with these options, bring them yourself. You can snag some online that have UPF 50+.
But that being said, you *can* use this as an excuse to skip the gels altogether. After all, naked nails are in, so why not take full advantage?
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