Dermatologist Says Nail Dryers May Increase Of Risk Skin Cancer

LANSING, Mich. — An often overlooked source of UV radiation can be found in virtually every nail salon in the country.

The lights that salons use to quickly dry nail polish emit UV rays, the same kind that physicians have been warning consumers about as a potential source of skin aging. The tanning bed lights are also believed to cause skin cancer.


‘The nail drying lights emit UVA rays, which can penetrate the skin much more deeply’ explains Dr. Marcy Street, a board certified Mayo Clinic trained dermatologist and first female African American MOHS surgeon in the country. ‘These lights are considered as dangerous as tanning beds when it comes to the skin. The problem is that not enough has been done to educate the public about them because they are only thought of as dryers for nail polish.’

A study last year in the Archives of Dermatology found that two cases of healthy middle-aged women without family histories of skin cancer who developed non-melanoma skin cancers on their hands. The report linked the cancers to UV nail lights. Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(4):447-449.

Dr. Street says that the best thing consumers can do to avoid the potentially harmful rays emitted by these lights is to allow the nails to dry on their own. ‘The potential danger these lights can have on the skin can be very serious and should be avoided whenever possible.’

Dr. Marcy Street, board certified, Mayo clinic trained dermatologist has been in private practice for nearly 20 years. She is a recognized skin care and skin cancer expert who has had many articles published in popular magazines, professional journals and newspapers. She is also the first Black female Mohs Surgeon in the nation. Dr. Street has also has been interviewed on radio and television, and has spoken to physicians’ groups in both the United States and abroad as a skin cancer expert. She is also the founder of a skin care line also under the name Doctor’s Approach.

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