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5 Reasons To Be Wary of Gel Manicures

Gel Manicure Risks | Atlanta Skin Care RisksA nail manicure provides many benefits. It can guard your nails against daily wear and tear, remove hangnails and provide strong, shapely nails. Those nails are often made of acrylic, but gel manicures are beginning to grow in popularity. Unfortunately, they are not as risk free as many people in the Atlanta area think.

Acrylic nails are a sculpted, artificial nail that is applied to your nail bed with liquid acrylic. Usually, they are glued to just the tips of your fingernails. Gel nails are applied differently. They use two or three coats of polish. The polish is dried or cured in between each layer with an ultraviolet drying light. The ultraviolet rays seal the polish tightly to the nail.

Many women prefer gel, but frequent gel manicures are cause for concern according to Atlanta area dermatologist Dr. Gross for several reasons.

1. Skin Cancer

Since ultraviolet heat lamps are required during curing, patients are exposing their fingertips to potential cancer-causing rays. The risk of skin cancer is low but repeated exposures can increase that risk. While an occasional manicure should not pose a threat, some women are having the procedure repeated as often as every two weeks.

2. Nail Damage

Gel nails can leave your nails susceptible to damage. The damage we often see here at Georgia Dermatology Center includes thinning, brittleness, peeling and cracked nails.

3. Infection

One of the popular features of gel nails is their durability. The polish will last for at least two weeks longer than traditional acrylic polishes. That can create problems because weaker nails can lead to nail bed infections. Gel manicures can also lead to fungal problems.

4. Monitoring Nails

Since the gel covers the entire nail and is tightly sealed to the nail bed, it can be difficult to see infections, fungus and other issues. For that reason, you might not seek the help of a dermatologist quickly enough to avoid further problems.

5. Difficulty Removing the Nail

When it is time to remove the gel and replace it, nails have to be soaked for a least 10 to 15 minutes in an acetone solution. The sealed nail polish is difficult to remove. Acetone works to dissolve the polish, but it is very drying to your skin, cuticles and nails.

With so many potential risks, the best solution is to seek out the advice of your Atlanta dermatologist before you have a manicure. Dr. Pearl and Dr. Gross of Georgia Dermatology Center are excellent dermatologists that can answer any questions Atlanta area patients have about the benefits and potential risks of gel manicures. They will also be glad to address any other questions about your nail and skin health.

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