Ok, I know there is a ton of reading on this part of my website, but I feel it is worth a few extra minutes to take a look at. Recently, there have been some reports in the news stating that uv lamps may cause cancer. I have listed a few great articles with scientific studies that state otherwise. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to chat with you.
(The information below came from Doug Schoon's Brain on Facebook)
Much of what’s said about LED-style and Fluorescent-style UV nail lamps is incorrect. Several studies have been done, but only one was properly performed to the correct international standards. That study was performed by world-leading UV experts, Drs. Dowdy and Sayre. Their scientific study provides important insights into the safety of UV nail lamps.
Unfortunately, the media has focused too much attention on those who have performed improper testing, using inadequate test devices. Dowdy and Sayre used a $60,000 highly accurate UV measurement device and have many years of experience testing UV sources. Unlike these other studies, Dowdy and Sayre followed the accepted international standards for testing UV devices. This is in stark contrast to the latest study done by several dermatologists using a $170 UV test device purchased from the Internet. The device they used is not much more than a “toy”. These doctors should NOT share their own misguided “opinions” as if they were based on factual and valid information.
Below are the facts based on accurate testing and scientific principles. These facts apply to both LED-style and Fluorescent-style UV nail lamps, which I’ll collectively refer to as “UV nail lamps”.
• It’s said that UV nail lamps create UVA, but actually more than 40% of the UVA range is eliminated completely, leaving behind only the very safest of the UVA wavelengths with the least potential to damage skin. The 40% eliminated wavelengths are the ones of most concern.
• Filtering out these wavelengths of concern is the primary reason UV nail lamps are so much safer than natural sunlight.
• Any remaining amount of UVA coming from a UV nail lamp is so low, that clients must leave their hands under these lamps for several hours to cause even slight reddening.
• When compared to medical treatments for psoriasis which expose patients to UVA and which dermatologist say are safe- nail clients would have to receive weekly UV manicures for 250 years to reach the same levels of skin exposure.
• When compared to natural sunlight, UV nail lamps are many times safer. Depending on the UV nail lamp used, they are between 11-46 times safer than overhead sunlight and 3-12 times safer than mid-angle sunlight.
• Recall that for 40 years, dermatologists have said that mid-angle sunlight contains little UV and is considered both safe and unlikely to cause skin cancer. The most powerful UV nail lamp is 3 times safer that mid-angle sun, e.g. 3:00 PM.
• Dermatologists frequently expose patients to UVA to treat psoriasis and consider these treatments to be very safe. To receive the same amount of UV exposure from a UV nail lamp, clients would have to have 250 years of weekly UV manicures.
• Use of UV nail lamps should NOT be a concern for clients, unless they have an unusual pre-existing sensitivity to UV or are on medications that may make them highly sensitive to UV exposure. If so, they should forego these sorts of services, until they speak with a doctor.
For these reasons and others Drs. Dowdy and Sayre have said they were “pleasantly surprised at the safety of UV nail lamps.” These highly respected, international authorities on UV and skin exposure stated in their scientific paper after testing a wide range of UV nail lamps, “To put things in their proper perspective, it is very unlikely anyone could over expose to UV through normal use of the UV nail lamps tested.”
Dr Sayre has told me repeatedly that, “Doctors are grossly over exaggerating exposures”. I certainly agree! Especially considering that UV nail lamps are used for 8 minutes or less, twice per month!
When the facts are fairly reviewed and considered, Dowdy and Sayre’s scientific studies have provide very strong evidence to support the safety of UV nail lamps as used in nail salons. If clients are concerned and wish to cover the back of their hands or wear sunscreen, that’s fine too. Just make sure not to apply sunscreen at the nail table, since these can contaminate tools/implements and cause nail coatings to prematurely loose adhesion to the nail plate.
“UV Nail Lamps Tested and Found Safe by Two Leading UV Experts”
Dr. John Dowdy and Dr. Robert Sayre
By Doug Schoon
July, 2013 – A comprehensive scientific study concerning the safety of UV nail units (aka UV nail
lamps) has just been published and it is VERY important for several reasons:
1. This is the first study to compare six major brands of UV nail units, including three that use UV
producing LEDs as the UV source.
2. It is also the first study to adhere to the official internationally accepted standard for UV source
testing (ANSI RP-27) which is determined to the superior method for evaluating UV nail units.
3. This independent study was performed by two world leading UV/Skin researchers Dr. John
Dowdy and Dr. Robert Sayre. Dr. Sayre is the inventor of the SPF rating system for sun screens
and both are considered world-class experts and scientific leaders in the field of research
related to UV and skin exposure.
4. The results demonstrate the safety of a wide range of top selling UV nail units (lamps) and show
they are well within accepted safe levels.
Analysis and Quotations:
• This study is superior to any previously performed testing on UV curing nail units, because it
follows the correct scientific protocols and uses the proper testing equipment necessary to
comprehensively evaluate the safety of UV nail lamps. Very few will read this highly technical
paper (see link below), so I’ve provided my analysis and commentary, along with pertinent
quotations from the study. To be clear, only the italicized texts in quotation are found in the
Dowdy/Sayer paper and everything else is my commentary about the reported results from this
• Not only does this study provide strong evidence that that UV nail lamps are safe as used in nail
salons, the researchers found the UV nail lamps were even safer than they expected, “All of the
various UV nail lamps submitted for evaluation were found to be significantly less hazardous
than might have been anticipated based on the initial concerns raised…”
• The paper cited important research demonstrating the natural nail plate is a very efficient
blocker of UV, protecting the nail bed, “… the UV exposure risks to the nail bed is comparable to
that of skin protected by high SPF topical sunscreen.” Research studies indicate the nail plate’s
natural UV resistance is comparable to the UV resistance provided by an SPF 40 sunscreen.
• Also cited was additional research to demonstrate that the backside of the hand is 4 times more
resistant to UV than the forehead or cheek. It is 3 1/2 times more resistant than the a person’s
back, making the backside of the hand THE most UV resistant part of the body, “The dorsum
[backside] of the hand is the most UV acclimatized, photo adapted, and UV-resistant body site.”
• The study provided conclusive evidence to demonstrate that UV nail lamps are NOT like tanning
beds, “When UV nail lamps evaluated in this report are compared together with these earlier
sunlamp computations, we find that the UV nail lamps are vastly less hazardous”.
• Because the measured UV exposure was so low, a person could go to their workplace and once
every day put their hand under a UV nail lamp for 25 minutes and this would STILL be within the
“permissible daily occupational exposure limits” for workers, according to the applicable
international standard (ANSI RP-27). Obviously, salon client exposure is much, much lower and
just a tiny fraction in comparison and it must be consider also that client exposure is only twice
per month. This scientific paper provides powerful evidence to further support the safety of UV
nail lamps; either traditional tube or LED-style.
• This study also demonstrates that risks for development of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC)
are very low when compared to normal noon sunlight. Of the types of UV that can cause NMSC,
this study found that UV nail lamp expose skin to somewhere between 11-46 times less NMSC
related exposure expected from spending equal time in natural noon sun light, “…the UV nail
lamps had 11-46 times less NMSC effective irradiance than an overhead 1 atmosphere solar
spectrum [normal noon sunlight].”
• These researchers put things into perspective when they concluded that it is very unlikely that
anyone could become overexposed to UV through normal use of the nail lamps tested since they
considered it, “…highly improbable that even the most dedicated nail salon client or avid home
user would approach this level of exposure.”
• The researchers noted this “Notwithstanding the comparatively trivial UV risks associated with
UV nail lamps there are some reasonable and potentially serious concerns involving these devices
that should be discussed.” Special care should be taken in cases where potential users are taking
medications that increase UV sensitivity. These individual have been, “… advised against
venturing into natural sunlight without proper protection and should be cautious about using UV
nail lamps.” Of course, that is sensible advice that should be heeded!
• What was the MOST significant risk these scientistsidentified? Concern that the incorrect
replacement lamp/bulb may be inserted into the UV nail unit, e.g. those emitting UV-B or UV-C
could be harmful to the skin if accidently inserted. Also, the incorrect lamp/bulb can lead to
improper curing of the UV gel. For several reasons, it is VERY important that UV lamps/bulbs are
replaced with the exactly the same UV lamp/bulb that was supplied with the UV nail unit when it
was purchased. In other words, use ONLY the UV nail unit manufacturer’s recommended original
equipment (OEM) lamp/bulb replacement.
• When sharing his opinions based on this nail lamps testing Dr. Sayre has said that some,
“Physicians are grossly exaggerating exposures.” And of UV nail lamps he says, “…this UV source
probably belongs in the least risky of all categories.” And, “UV nail lamps are safer than natural
sunlight or sunlamps.”
I wholeheartedly agree with these statements and the results of this study. There are several other
studies also demonstrating the safety of UV nail lamps. Now this information needs to get into the
hands of physicians so they can make proper recommendations based on science, not
misinformation. The same goes for the media news outlets. You can do your part, by sharing this
Educational Update with everyone you know, including your clients. If you see unfair
misinformation being propagated, please share this information. The Dowdy/Sayre study should
convince any reasonable person about the safety of UV nail lamps.
If you’re curious and want to learn more about UV nail lamps, go to my website
“DougSchoon.com”. There you can view free webinars, articles, safety-related brochures, links to
other UV nail unit (lamp) studies, and other recent Education Updates about both types of UV nail
lamps, traditional and LED.
Dr. Dowdy and Sayre’s full text scientific paper is available (and worth readying) from this link to
the publisher’s website http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/php.12075/abstract.
Dowdy, J. C. and Sayre, R. M. (2013), Photobiological Safety Evaluation of UV Nail Lamps.
Photochemistry and Photobiology, 89: 961–967. doi: 10.1111/php.12075
Are Gels and UV nail lights safe?
Click on link for more information
Gel Manicure Home Care Information
Here are some tips and thoughts to help keep your new Gel Manicure looking its very best until your next appointment.
To keep any type of nail service looking great, always remember the golden rule:
"Treat your nails as jewels, not tools."
- Use cuticle oil daily. Apply generously in the morning and at bedtime. Massage into cuticles and surrounding skin.
- Always use gloves when doing dishes, heavy cleaning or gardening.
- If you need to file the nails to alter the length before your next appointment, you can do so, but do not cut them.
- Please do not attempt to remove the gel polish yourself as it needs to be professionally soaked off. Damage to your nails can occur by improperly removing the gel polish.
- Never bite or pick at your gel manicure or your nails as it could cause chipping, peeling or breakage.
- Your new gel manicure should stay beautiful for as much as 2 to 3 weeks or up to 8 weeks on your toes.
- Gel polish should stay on your nails longer and be more resistant to chipping than traditional polish.
- Gel polish is not acrylic or cement! You will need to rethink how you open jars, pop-top bottles, pick things up, etc.
- If you just switched to gel polish from acrylic or gel, your nails will not be able to take the same amount of "abuse" as before. It may take up to 8 weeks to adjust to the new product. Some breakage and tears are not unusual in the first several weeks.
- Book your appointment in advance to have the gel polish color removed and reapplied every 2 to 3 weeks.
- If for some reason you experience excessive chipping or peeling within 7 days of your appointment, please feel free to contact me.
What You Should Know About Gel Nails
Have You Ever Wanted Beautiful, Long-lasting, Natural Nail Enhancements?
"Consumers should be aware that many nail salons advertise gel nails, but the client is not really getting a true gel product. Some salons apply traditional liquid and powder acrylic, then coat it with a thin layer of gel and call these "Gel Nails" when they are not. These salons will charge more for their 'gel' service, but the client isn't getting what he/she paid for. Authentic gel is a thick, sticky consistency and is applied from a single jar. Each application (or layer) of the gel needs to be cured under a UV light. The final cured layer will usually be sticky and the technician will have to use a cleanser to remove this layer. The underneath layer will be hard and very shiny."(Info taken from Gina Silvestro @ GelEssentialz)
Now, you may be asking yourself what the advantages of gel nails are. Gels are odor-free, lightweight and have a natural appearance. They will not yellow. Application does not require the use of harsh acid primers. Gels are flexible and durable. Best of all, you won't have to worry about smudging your polish and you will no longer have to spend all of that time waiting around for your polish to dry. Gels are super shiny too, and the edges of the nails do not wear down like acrylics.