Are Gel Manicures Dangerous?

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Are Gel Manicures Dangerous?
8
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 3:58pm

Gel Manicure Dangers and Safer Options Recommended on Dr. Oz Show

When asked by Dr. Oz if there is ever a time that it’s okay to have a gel manicure, dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D. states that nothing warrants the risk to your health.

“In my opinion there’s no vacation, no special event, no other type of occurrence where I think that it’s worth it to get a gel manicure…the risks aren’t worth it” says Dr. Chapas.

To help make manicures safer for women who insist on continuing to have gel manicures, Dr. Chapas offers these 3 recommendations to lessen the health risks:

Safer gel manicure recommendation #1: Find a salon that uses LED rather than UV lights when curing the nail polish coats.

Safer gel manicure recommendation #2: Ask the manicurist to apply sunscreen to your hands before beginning the gel manicure process.

Safer gel manicure recommendation #3: Wear anti-UV light manicure gloves that have holes at the fingertips to protect the skin while under a UV curing light.

And, for those women who will not have a gel manicure, but want to have longer-lasting polished nails, Dr. Chapas recommends applying a nightly application of a new topcoat of polish that is free of the harmful chemicals toluene, formaldehyde and DBP (DiButyl-Phthalate). Dr. Chapas recommends the brands Zoya and LCN as nail topcoat products that are safe to use.

More information here: http://www.emaxhealth.com/8782/gel-manicure-dangers-and-safer-options-recommended-dr-oz-show

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2013
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 5:02pm

Wow, that's pretty scary. I haven't had a gel manicure yet, and after reading this, I don't think I will. 

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 4:02pm

Nope, I won't do them either, for several reasons.  First, the time hands are under UV lights.  Those women are ageing their hands FAST - forget about the skin cancer, they're getting spots and wrinkles well before they need to.  It's like sitting in a tanning booth.

Second, they sit with their fingertips wrapped in nail polish remover to get the stuff off.  I've heard horror stories about how it just won't come off, and the nails have to be scraped.  Sounds unhealthy to me.

Third, it takes forever.  I go for a regular manicure, I'm in and out in 30 mins, including drying time (under a fan, not a UV light).  Those getting gel manicures are there FOREVER.  What's the point of a manicure that lasts two weeks if you have to spend twice the time?

Fourth, nails grow at the same rate whether you have gel polish on or not.  I can see the base around my cuticle 3 days after a manicure.  After a week, I think it looks terrible.  I sure wouldn't go two weeks.

So far, I haven't seen or read anything about gel manicures that makes me want to get one.

Avatar for ubergeek
Community Leader
Registered: 09-23-2010
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 12:21pm

mahopac wrote:
<p>Nope, I won't do them either, for several reasons.  First, the time hands are under UV lights.  Those women are ageing their hands FAST - forget about the skin cancer, they're getting spots and wrinkles well before they need to.  It's like sitting in a tanning booth.</p><p>Second, they sit with their fingertips wrapped in nail polish remover to get the stuff off.  I've heard horror stories about how it just won't come off, and the nails have to be scraped.  Sounds unhealthy to me.</p><p>Third, it takes forever.  I go for a regular manicure, I'm in and out in 30 mins, including drying time (under a fan, not a UV light).  Those getting gel manicures are there FOREVER.  What's the point of a manicure that lasts two weeks if you have to spend twice the time?</p><p>Fourth, nails grow at the same rate whether you have gel polish on or not.  I can see the base around my cuticle 3 days after a manicure.  After a week, I think it looks terrible.  I sure wouldn't go two weeks.</p><p>So far, I haven't seen or read anything about gel manicures that makes me want to get one.</p>

Hmmm... I've been getting gel manicures for over a year. No aging on my part by any means. It's my finger tips in the light, not my hand. It's also less time than sitting under the dryer after a regular manicure, which you don't need to do after a gel manicure.

I've never, ever sat with my fingernails wrapped in remover. I've sat with my hand in an ultrasonic machine that gently shakes the gel off though. Maybe 5 minutes max. Also, the scraping isn't scraping in the sense that you're thinking. It's less scraping than a nail file does. (If it's more, they're doing it wrong.)

And a gel manicure takes soooo much less time than a regular manicure.

I like Dr. Oz, but I think this may be a stretch, unless you're going very frequently.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 2:40pm

That's interesting.  Maybe it's the way they do it at the salon I go to?  The women getting gel manicures are there for soooooo long!  I am in and out and they are still there!  Odd!

I have read that about the UV lights elsewhere, though.  And some salons use UV light/fan combos for their regular drying stations, so you have to be careful there, too.  Allure magazine was quick to report on gels when they came out, and pretty quick soon after to say that they were bad for you for the same reasons Dr. Oz mentioned.  Allure is pretty trustworthy about health issues related to beauty treatments.

Hey, how did the Sally Hansen at-home gel turn out?  I was wondering about that after you posted it.  (I loved the color too - red is my favorite for the winter.)

Kelly

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 3:09pm
I agree with you, Erin, I think people are overreacting when it comes to the dangers. I read somewhere that using the lights are the equivalent of an extra two minutes in the sun, and it's not like you are using a tanning bed. The lightbulbs aren't nearly as strong, if they were your hands would be tan afterwards ;)

Chelsea

"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 9:28am

The warnings are enough to scare me off, but that's probably in part because I don't really get the big deal about gel manicures. Do they really look that much better? In pictures I just don't see it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-1998
Tue, 02-12-2013 - 2:03pm

I've been getting gel nails for over a year now and I love them. I don't have to worry about my nails not being totally dry and I'm not noticing any new age spots or a color difference from the rest of my hand. As was said earlier in the posts, all that you put in is your fingertips. I get a French manicure so the grow out is not as obvious, and I don't have to worry about if my nails are going to clash with my outfit. As far as the time in nail polish remover, depending on where I go it is either the sonic or they use a small sander type tool (dremel) to take off the old layer. I am not a fan of Dr Oz, so I took this alert with a grain of salt.

Evelyn I think they stay shinier, longer.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2014
Tue, 03-18-2014 - 7:55pm

I don't know, my roommate, who has the most perfect and durable nails I've ever seen, swears by gels.  I can't afford them just now but without a doubt that seems to be the way to go.  You just put the ends of your fingers under the curing light, right?  Why is the whole hand in danger from that?  I don't wear makeup but I would still love perfect nails -- best thing ever.