Did you know that getting a gel manicure or pedicure could be a potential danger in ladies with Lupus?
Gel nail polish is a special type of chip-resistant, long-lasting color that’s very popular in nail salons these days. It’s not the polish itself that’s the problem; it’s the UV lamp that has to be used to cure it. In order to get that hard shell of a coating on your nails, the technician shines a UV lamp on the nails for a few minutes. Once it’s done drying and curing, the manicure or pedicure can last as long as three weeks.
Most healthy women have no problems with the UV lamp. A study released by the Nail Manufacturers Council on Safety found that the UV lamp used to dry and cure gel nail polish does not cause cancer and is safe as long as: 1) it’s administered by a professional nail technician; and 2) that there’s no more than two exposures (manicures or pedicures) per month.
Women with Lupus who choose to get gel manicures or pedicures are advised to either avoid them altogether or use sunscreen on their hands prior to putting their hands or feet under the UV lamp. This precaution is necessary because sometimes UV rays can cause increased autoimmune activity, leading to rashes, pain, or a full Lupus flare.
I’ve only had one gel manicure, and it definitely caused a bit of a rash on my hands. It could have been from the lotion she used, but I’ve had non-gel manicures that didn’t cause that problem. I also noticed that my nail beds hurt a bit. So much so that I began peeling the polish off my nails within a few days. I have not had another gel manicure since my first one. It just wasn’t worth it.
So, as is often the case with Lupus, it’s all based on your personal experience and medical history with the disease. It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor’s opinion in this matter.
Lupus Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families by Donald E. Thomas, Jr., MD. pp. 668-669
New, Independent Study by Leading Researchers Finds UV Nail Lamps Do Not Cause Cancer: http://bit.ly/1ROekbg
Have you had a gel manicure or pedicure recently? How did it affect you? Please share your story with us. The more we share about our experience with Lupus, the more we know—together….