Dr. Pamela Weber,

For those of you who frequent nail salons, beware of the ultraviolet nail dryers!!! They are usually placed under the counter, and you are asked to slip your hands in to dry gel nail polish. However, you may have noticed that ultraviolet light pours out lighting the floor and surfaces around the dryers.

They are toxic to the skin and could cause aging and skin cancers of the hands. The lightboxes used to cure polish during gel manicures have raised some concern because, like tanning beds, they emit ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation, which is associated with a higher cancer risk. A 2014 study in JAMA Dermatology found that the level of UVA exposure associated with a gel manicure every two weeks probably isn't high enough to increase the risk of skin cancer significantly but added to regular exposure you could be at risk.

The risk goes even further, in that they could also cause eye damage. It is very hard to keep your eyes away from the light. UV radiation can cause damage from short-term or long-term exposure.  The ultraviolet toxicity can harm the eyes, affect your vision, and lead to deteriorating eye health overall. There are many eye conditions or diseases that can be caused or worsened by UV radiation including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and eye cancers.

So – maybe next time forgo the gel polish go with regular or the powder dip polish or stick-on nail polish.

Remember to wear proper eye protection when you are outside or driving your car, as UV radiation can cause damage with any unprotected exposure.

*If you think your vision may be affected by exposure to UV rays, call us to schedule an evaluation. Commack: 631.486.6672 / Shirley: 631.924.4300

Learn more about eye health at: Island retina https://www.island-retina.com/eye-health/sunglass-overview