UV dryers for gel nails can harm DNA, study says. Should I use them?

Dermatologists answer questions about whether UV nail dryers are safe and what precautions people can take when getting gel manicures

A new study shows long wavelengths of ultraviolet light from nail dryers could damage DNA and cause mutations in human cells that increase risks for skin cancer. (iStock)

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is known to cause skin damage, including skin cancer. Now, new research has raised questions about the safety of nail dryers, which use UV light to dry and cure gel nail polish.

The study shows long wavelengths of ultraviolet light (UVA) from UV nail dryers can damage DNA and cause mutations in human cells that increase risk for skin cancer.

The Washington Post asked dermatologists what the finding means for people who get their nails done, whether UV nail dryers are safe and what precautions people can take when getting gel manicures and pedicures. Here’s their advice.

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