Further Investigation Into the Risk of Skin Cancer Associated With the Use of UV Nail Lamps | Cancer Screening, Prevention, Control | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
July 2014

Further Investigation Into the Risk of Skin Cancer Associated With the Use of UV Nail Lamps

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia and College of Dental Medicine at Georgia Regents University, Augusta
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(7):775-776. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.8740

Use of UV radiation in nail salons for drying and curing polishes has come under scrutiny owing to concerns for carcinogenesis.1,2 A few recent studies evaluated potential irradiation scenarios and concluded that UV nail polish drying lamps pose only a small risk to clients.3 However, these studies lacked randomized light sampling from commercial salons.

We conducted a small study based on random UV light sampling in nail salons in 2 geographic locations to evaluate the unweighted UV-A and UV-B irradiance of a variety of nail polish drying devices. Our study differed from those previously published by highlighting the variety of UV light lamps used in commercial nail salons as well as the varying UV irradiance emitted within each individual device. Finally, we evaluated the risk to the user by comparing median irradiance with an energy density of UV-A shown to cause DNA damage.