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In today’s fast-paced world, more women are turning to gel manicures, as these can last 2 or more weeks without fading or chipping. Unlike traditional nail polish, gel manicures use ultraviolet (UV) lamps to firmly seal the polish onto the nails. While they keep the nails looking beautiful and require minimal upkeep, gel manicures may lead to nail thinning and even conceal nail disease in its early stages. How can a something so simple cause so much trouble?
To remove gel polish from their nails, one must soak their nails in acetone for as long as 15 minutes. Acetone can dry the nails out excessively and irritate the surrounding skin, even causing allergic reactions in some people. Since UV lamps are used to seal gel polish, individuals that regularly get gel manicures may be at an increased risk of developing skin cancer, not to mention photodamaging on their hands. This applies to nearly all nail polishes, but always keeping polished nails may cover up nail problems, making early diagnosing difficult. What if you just can’t give up those gel manicures?
Don’t run for another gel manicure as soon as your last one wears down; instead, give your nails a few weeks to repair in between. Before getting a gel manicure, apply sunscreen to your hands to reduce damage from the rays of the UV lamp. To minimize irritation and drying, moisturize your nails multiples times a day and only soak your nails in the acetone when removing nail polish; if necessary, a finger wrap can be purchased to expose only your nails. If your nails consistently get irritated from gel manicures, discontinue them and return to manicures with traditional nail polish.
No matter how frequently – or infrequently – you use nail polish of any kind, nail problems may still occur. If you notice any abnormalities on your nails, contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss treatment options. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts at treating all conditions of the skin, hair and nails. Our conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens (Bayside, Flushing), Long Island – Nassau/Suffolk (Roslyn/Albertson, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City, Westchester County (Ossining), Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.