UV Nail Polish Dryers May Be Carcinogenic!

nail polish

UV nail polish dryers, commonly used in salons to cure gel manicures can damage the DNA in our hands and cause mutations. However, no formal research has ever been done regarding their effect on mammalian cells. Despite their widespread use and known facts about some ultraviolet rays being carcinogenic.

Moreover, unlike tanning beds that use a different UV light spectrum, which has been proven to cause cancer, no studies have been conducted on nail polish drying devices.

Ludmil Alexandrov, corresponding author of the study said,

If you look at the way these devices are presented, they are marketed as safe, with nothing to be concerned about,

But to the best of our knowledge, no one has actually studied these devices and how they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular levels until now.

The researchers identified mitochondrial and DNA damage, in addition to cell death after they exposed the human and mouse cells.

It went by as twenty minutes under the lights following an hour of damage repair with another twenty minutes exposure. Resulting in 20-30% of cell death. Whereas twenty-minute sessions every day for three days repeatedly caused 65-70% of apoptosis.

So, one manicure session usually involves nails and hands being placed under UV light for ten minutes, which is less than the exposure in the study.

The damage seen in the remaining cells wasn’t always repaired, which lead to mutations like those seen in human skin cancers. Furthermore, according to Alexandrov, reports of rare finger cancers have also been seen in people who get gel manicures regularly. For example, estheticians, and pageant contestants.

Although this is concerning, the study does not give any direct evidence that UV nail polish drying devices cause cancer. A long-term epidemiological study is required before these questions are answered.

The authors of the study wrote,

Our experimental results and the prior evidence strongly suggest that radiation emitted by UV-nail polish dryers may cause cancers of the hand and that UV-nail polish dryers, similar to tanning beds, may increase the risk of early-onset skin cancer,

Nevertheless, future large-scale epidemiological studies are warranted to accurately quantify the risk for skin cancer of the hand in people regularly using UV-nail polish dryers. It is likely that such studies will take at least a decade to complete and to subsequently inform the general public.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here