Safety of LED nail lamps

Ask the doctors

Are nail salon lamps safe?

Q. I was worried about drying my nails with a lamp or light box at the nail salon because of the potential risk of cancer from the ultraviolet radiation, but my salon recently switched to LED lamps. Are they safer?

A. The light boxes used to cure polish during gel manicures, and to dry traditional nail polish, have raised some concern because — like tanning beds — they emit ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation, which is associated with a higher cancer risk. A 2014 study in JAMA Dermatology found that the level of UVA exposure associated with a gel manicure every two weeks probably isn't high enough to increase the risk of skin cancer significantly, but you are wise to be aware of the issue.

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