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Semi-permanent nails: a study warns of a possible health risk


Researchers in the US discovered that the drying booth generates DNA mutations like sunbeds, which are considered carcinogenic.

You have to go very detailed to notice it.

But if you pause in the third season of

Emily in Paris

, you can see that she -icon of the new aspirational aesthetic influencer-- did not sin by not doing hands


She made them.

That nude


and the totally comfortable length of her nails

is also a manicure. 

There is nothing natural there.

The style is called

rich girl

(rich girl).

And it is done in a salon (or at home, if there is desire, time and pulse).

As much as the Netflix series was filmed months before, it marks the 2023 trend set by Rosalía, Jennifer López or Victoria Beckham.


XL nails and with outlandish designs,


short and "almost natural" nails.

The new "natural" is semi-permanent nail polish.

The one that lasts up to three weeks needs to be dried in

ultraviolet light booths

and caused a


in the opening of nail salons in Argentina.

In the midst of this striking change towards the stripped at the tip of the fingers -which does not stop making news in magazines like Vogue- an

article published in the scientific journal 

Nature Communications

 marks an alert about a tool used for the semi-permanent technique that can

damage DNA and lead to

cancerous mutations.

It is that

little drying cabin

that in the jargon of manicures they call

"little oven"


It can even be

more dangerous than tanning beds

and does severe damage at the cellular level.

The latest figures from the Argentine Society of Dermatology reflect the detection of

129,000 cases of skin cancer per year


Around 600 Argentines die from melanoma (the most aggressive form), which is equivalent to 50 patients per month or 12 per week.


consulted experts in dermatology and oncology to understand the results of this investigation that warned about the risks of hand beauty.

They also give tips to prevent them.

The investigation

Researchers at the University of California in San Diego, United States, discovered that the use of these ultraviolet light booths for manicures generate

cell death and DNA mutations that can cause cancer


They don't talk about a particular brand.


use of these devices occurs in all nail salons

, they can be purchased at Once, for example, without problem or requirement to have a degree in cosmetology.

The semi-permanent on the nails is a boom.

Photo: Andrés D'Elia

They all work based on a particular spectrum of ultraviolet light ranging from

340 to 395nm (nanometers)

to dry the chemicals used on the nails.

To illustrate the risk well, the researchers compared it with artificial tanning beds, which for years have had a bad press among doctors and scientists in the country and the world.

The tanning bed, so from the 90s and the 2000s, has filters that emit ultraviolet radiation with a

powerful spectrum

but that can be even

less than that used in nail booths


Approximately 280 to 400 nm.

The difference is that it has already been sufficiently demonstrated that the use of UVA ray tanning booths is carcinogenic. 

“They are marketed as insurance.

But as far as we know,

no one has studied how they work

and whether or not they affect human cells at the molecular and cellular level until now," said Ludmil Alexandrov, a professor of molecular medicine in San Diego and an author of the study, about the semi-permanent nail devices.

The paper warns that the use of these UV-emitting devices for just a 20-minute session

"leads to between 20% and 30% of cell tissue death

. "

In case of being exposed to three consecutive sessions of 20 minutes, the percentage of dead cells varies between 60 and 75%.

Drying with manicure services that are done in Argentina generally involves only putting your hand in the machine for about 60 seconds between coats (one base coat and two color coats) and an extra 120 seconds for the top coat. or surface protective layer.

The sunbed session is usually about 15 minutes. 


we saw that DNA gets damaged


We also saw that some of the damage is not repaired over time and leads to mutations after each exposure to the ultraviolet nail polish dryer.

Finally, we saw that exposure can cause mitochondrial dysfunction," Ludmil explained.

During the study they examined patients with skin cancer and

saw "exactly" the same patterns of mutations


Although the results show the harmful effects of repeated use of these devices on human cells, specialists admit that

a long-term epidemiological study

would be needed before conclusively stating that the use of these little nail booths increases the risk of cancer. skin.

risk manicure

In science, the demand for further study is not synonymous with "not yet proven."

It does not invalidate the conclusions obtained in a specific investigation.

Like it is in California.

Much less, with what has already been said in

research in the same field


"Ultraviolet exposure to the skin is known to cause damage at the DNA level of cells, specifically, melanocytes and all those present in the different layers of the skin. These changes lead to mutations that

may initially be innocuous

but With the passage of time and being cumulative, they

can generate some type of cancer

, "explains to


Yanina Pfluger, head of the clinical oncology service at the Alexander Fleming Institute.

He read the research and clarifies that just as there are different types of skin cancers, with different treatments,

they all have to do with ultraviolet radiation

That is already proven.

"That is why it is a question of discouraging both the use of sunbeds and now nail drying booths. And it is recommended to

use sunscreen all year round

on the parts that we have exposed: face, neck, arms, hands," he indicates. .

Pfluger notes that these study data are preliminary and that it would be fine to use sunscreen on the hands during semi-permanent manicures, but that "

 larger-scale studies with longer follow-up are needed

. To find out if the risk is real."

And that only then "regulatory bodies should be able to prevent the population in the future."

Skin cancer in Argentina is frequent and on the rise

, as in the entire southern hemisphere, where there is more harmful radiation.

Especially melanoma.

"It occurs more on the face, neckline, legs and arms. It is known for sure that repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation causes

skin aging and precancerous and cancerous lesions

on the skin. Don't just think about the sun or the sun bed. Also, lately, in these enamel drying booths. Artificial sources of radiation,

used 10 times or more per year

, favor the risk of skin cancer," Cristina Pascutto, former president, explains to this newspaper of the Argentine Society of Dermatology (SAD).

Returning to manicures, Laura Szafirsten, a dermatologist at the Argentine Society of Dermatology, says that although

skin cancer on the hands

is not growing in national statistics, "it may be necessary to investigate and do local follow-up to see if this technique semi-permanent cosmetics is beginning to generate an increase in cases of skin cancer in that irradiated region, the hand".

But it seems to him that the comparison with the damage of tanning beds

needs more verification


"They are aimed at a

much larger

skin surface than the nail drying device."

Likewise, he advises using sunscreen when doing hands and marks

other damage that is already being seen in the country


"There are many consultations for

nail plates

, much more frequent than before. It is attributable to getting hands with semi-permanent enamel. It is seen that the nail plate becomes very thin. I recommend checking the level of vitamin D, administering supplements with amino acids and suspend the semi-permanent manicure", he closes.


look too

Semi-permanent enamel is booming: is there a risk to nails and skin?

Semi-permanent nail polish: advantages and disadvantages

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2023-01-27

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