UV nail polish dryers may cause ‘DNA damage and mutations

By: | January 24th, 2023

Image by Pixabay

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, have found that lamps used to dry gel manicures can kill human cells and could even lead to skin cancer.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are known to cause skin cancer at high exposures. LED nail polish dryers make use of UV light to dry some types of nail polish quickly and cleanly.

Although these devices are generally considered safe, university researchers insist research is required to find out their impact on human cells at molecular and cellular levels.

For this study, UC researchers analyzed three cell lines: human skin keratinocytes, human foreskin fibroblasts, and mouse embryonic fibroblasts.

Just one 20-minute exposure to UV light caused 20% to 30% of exposed cells to die

Researchers found that three consecutive 20-minute sessions resulted in 65% to 70% cell death. Moreover, they also found impacts on remaining cells as well. They suffered DNA damage and mutations with patterns observed in skin cancer in humans.

Professor Alexandrov stated: “We looked at patients with skin cancers, and we see the exact same patterns of mutations in these patients that were seen in the irradiated cells.”

The study noted: “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.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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