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UV/LED lamp long term damage

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Valerie N

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Don't lie.

They say UV\LED lamps for curing nails are not any more harmful than a daily 15 minute sun exposure ...

For gel users, how many of you have noticed accelerated aging in the hands? New visible wrinkles over night? Sagging of the skin in the hands?

I apply high spf sunscreen hours, barrier lotion, and at least 4 mil gloves before any work. Still the damage has been done.

I know because although I don't have naturally pretty fingernails, my hands always had a youthful appearance and always get compliments about it. Practically only after a few applications, I have noticed significant damage. I was in denial about it. I don't wanna be anymore.

I don't think it's the same damage 15 minutes of sun bathing will do to my hands or normal aging! They look like pre-cancer (exaggeration for impact).

I have tried to reverse the effect by using quality moisturizers and anti-aging agents. I am really starting to wonder if gel is worth it when I love its applications so much.

Edit:

""Has anyone seen any evidence of premature aging of clients' hands?"
 
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Haircutz

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Sorry, but I don’t really understand the point of your post?
No-one is forcing you to wear nail enhancements, so if you’re not happy with them, then don’t do it.
I haven’t worn anything on my finger nails for about 8 years. I might wear ordinary polish on my toe nails during the summer months.

Also, you live in California, the sunshine state.
Many of the geeks on this site live in the U.K. and other parts of central Europe.
Ireland, for instance, is famous for rain. If the sun ever makes an appearance, we’re out dancing in the streets.😆
 

Valerie N

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Sorry, but I don’t really understand the point of your post?
No-one is forcing you to wear nail enhancements, so if you’re not happy with them, then don’t do it.
I haven’t worn anything on my finger nails for about 8 years. I might wear ordinary polish on my toe nails during the summer months.

Also, you live in California, the sunshine state.
Many of the geeks on this site live in the U.K. and other parts of central Europe.
Ireland, for instance, is famous for rain. If the sun ever makes an appearance, we’re out dancing in the streets.😆
I'm sorry what?
 

NancySyd

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Don't lie.

They say UV\LED lamps for curing nails are not any more harmful than a daily 15 minute sun exposure ...

For gel users, how many of you have noticed accelerated aging in the hands? New visible wrinkles over night? Sagging of the skin in the hands?

I apply high spf sunscreen hours, barrier lotion, and at least 4 mil gloves before any work. Still the damage has been done.

I know because although I don't have naturally pretty fingernails, my hands always had a youthful appearance and always get compliments about it. Practically only after a few applications, I have noticed significant damage. I was in denial about it. I don't wanna be anymore.

I don't think it's the same damage 15 minutes of sun bathing will do to my hands or normal aging! They look like pre-cancer (exaggeration for impact).

I have tried to reverse the effect by using quality moisturizers and anti-aging agents. I am really starting to wonder if gel is worth it when I love its applications so much.
While I respect your experience, what you are saying is at odds with all of the scientific research on this topic. I don't doubt that your hands are showing aging caused by UV exposure, but it is much more likely due to ordinary daily UV exposure, especially if you drive every day or you are white. The fact is that living in SoCal, you get more sun exposure every day than a UV/LED lamp provides. I, on the other hand, have very young looking hands, despite 9 years of weekly UV/LED lamp use. That's not a lie. Maybe we are both outliers. To claim that this damage is due to nail lamps is dangerous because it can lead you to overlook more likely causes. If you have what seems like excessive sun damage, you ought to see your dermatologist, because it could be something serious.
 

Valerie N

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While I respect your experience, what you are saying is at odds with all of the scientific research on this topic. I don't doubt that your hands are showing aging caused by UV exposure, but it is much more likely due to ordinary daily UV exposure, especially if you drive every day or you are white. The fact is that living in SoCal, you get more sun exposure every day than a UV/LED lamp provides. I, on the other hand, have very young looking hands, despite 9 years of weekly UV/LED lamp use. That's not a lie. Maybe we are both outliers. To claim that this damage is due to nail lamps is dangerous because it can lead you to overlook more likely causes. If you have what seems like excessive sun damage, you ought to see your dermatologist, because it could be something serious.
I respect your experience as well. I should've mentioned I've seen a dermatologists and I don't have cancer. To follow your logic, I would have to move to the UK or somewhere cooler to see if regular California sun is the cause of damage. That's not happening.

Yes. It's possible we're outliers. The appearance of this damage is unique and I've noticed on dozens of other NTs that use UV\LED lamps daily. I am making an observation, possibly hypothesis. That's how scientific experimentation starts. There are actually few studies done on this matter. There were studies that "proved" vaccinations caused Autism. We know that's not true, but let's not go down that rabbit hole. So it doesn't mean that science is perfect and never biased. MMA was once okay until it's ban. Now the rise with issues with HEMA. I wouldn't be surprised if we found new evidence that suggests that nail lamps do indeed cause some skin damage just like UV bed tanning, contrary to the few studies that exist that says otherwise.

But also let's apply sunscreen, barrier lotion, and wear UV protective gloves before using UV\LED nail lamps just in case.
 
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NancySyd

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I respect your experience as well. I should've mentioned I've seen a dermatologists and I don't have cancer. To follow your logic, I would have to move to the UK or somewhere cooler to see if regular California sun is the cause of damage. That's not happening.

Yes. It's possible we're outliers. The appearance of this damage is unique and I've noticed on dozens of other NTs that use UV\LED lamps daily. I am making an observation, possibly hypothesis. That's how scientific experimentation starts. There are actually few studies done on this matter. There were studies that "proved" vaccinations caused Autism. We know that's not true, but let's not go down that rabbit hole. So it doesn't mean that science is perfect and never biased. MMA was once okay until it's ban. Now the rise with issues with HEMA. I wouldn't be surprised if we found new evidence that suggests that nail lamps do indeed cause some skin damage just like UV bed tanning, contrary to the few studies that exist that says otherwise.

But also let's apply sunscreen, barrier lotion, and wear UV protective gloves before using UV\LED nail lamps just in case.
While you are correct that a hypothesis is where science starts, the next step would be to test (this would be done prior to publication). For example, the fact that you've noticed this of NTs who use UV/LED lamps daily seems interesting but irrelevant since it is the customers' hands, not the tech's that receives the exposure. That would suggest that, assuming your observations are correct, it would be something else in their environment causing the problem. Again, living in Southern California, the most obvious variable would be normal daily sun exposure, perhaps even such exposure in combination with chemicals used in the profession. One explanation may be in the UV/LED lamps themselves. The FDA testing was done on branded lamps. It is possible that cheap generic lamps could expose people to more radiation than branded lamps. There are a number of explanations for what you think you've observed. Good science does not jump to unwarranted conclusions. All preventive methods have impacts as well, so it is important to make sure there really is not only a correlation but causation as well before implementing prevention.
 

Valerie N

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While you are correct that a hypothesis is where science starts, the next step would be to test (this would be done prior to publication). For example, the fact that you've noticed this of NTs who use UV/LED lamps daily seems interesting but irrelevant since it is the customers' hands, not the tech's that receives the exposure. That would suggest that, assuming your observations are correct, it would be something else in their environment causing the problem. Again, living in Southern California, the most obvious variable would be normal daily sun exposure, perhaps even such exposure in combination with chemicals used in the profession. One explanation may be in the UV/LED lamps themselves. The FDA testing was done on branded lamps. It is possible that cheap generic lamps could expose people to more radiation than branded lamps. There are a number of explanations for what you think you've observed. Good science does not jump to unwarranted conclusions. All preventive methods have impacts as well, so it is important to make sure there really is not only a correlation but causation as well before implementing prevention.
NTs don't work on themselves?

I don't appreciate your accusations that I've made unwarranted conclusions. I'm interested in gathering anecdotal experiences. Thank you for yours.
 

Trinity

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NTs don't work on themselves?

I don't appreciate your accusations that I've made unwarranted conclusions. I'm interested in gathering anecdotal experiences. Thank you for yours.
Not everyday as you initially stated

Your response is unnecessarily contrary, and hypocritical, seeing as your initial thread also makes 'accusations' and 'conclusions' - if you are permitted to do so then @NancySyd is too.

To add to your anecdotal evidence - I have not seen any increase in premature aging of the skin on my hands
 

NancySyd

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NTs don't work on themselves?

I don't appreciate your accusations that I've made unwarranted conclusions. I'm interested in gathering anecdotal experiences. Thank you for yours.
If you were gathering anecdotal experiences, then that's what you should have asked for - an unbiased response. "Has anyone seen any evidence of premature aging of clients' hands?" What you did was 1) tell people not to lie, 2) tell us of your experience and conclusions, 3) accuse the industry of being in denial.

I am not interested in accusing you or anyone of anything, and I did not do so. I am interested in understanding and advancing the science of our profession and my comments were intended to help you/us think through the many variables involved.
 
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againstm

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Why don't you visit a dermatologist and ask for their opinion, Valerie? You can ask them for a tretinoin (Retin-A) prescription. It's the only drug on the market that can truly reverse aging. If you've been using over-the-counter products, they can't compare to what tretinoin can do. Ask them to evaluate the effectiveness of your current sunscreen and go over your application routine to make sure you're applying it for maximum effectiveness. Also, applying an L-AA based vitamin c serum prior to exposure can boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen and fade age spots. I like Nufountain C20.

Our nail lamps emit UV-A, which is responsible for visible aging (rather than UV-B, which is primarily responsible for cancer), so it's not impossible that repeated exposure would age the skin. I haven't experienced this but I've been doing nails for less than 10 years. I also have brown skin so I have more sun protection. If you're naturally fair, I understand why you'd be concerned. Techs spend more time in the lamp than our clients because we experiment with nail art and test products on ourselves. Like others have mentioned, environmental exposure is probably driving most of your premature aging but the time in your nail lamp can't help. UV damage is cumulative so even the short bursts in the lamp will add up over the years.

Are your hands aging "overnight"? No, you're letting your worries get the best of you. Is frequent lamp use contributing to the aging of your hands overall? Probably. But if you're wearing sunscreen diligently every day (like everyone should), you shouldn't stress too much.
 

againstm

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While you are correct that a hypothesis is where science starts, the next step would be to test (this would be done prior to publication). For example, the fact that you've noticed this of NTs who use UV/LED lamps daily seems interesting but irrelevant since it is the customers' hands, not the tech's that receives the exposure. That would suggest that, assuming your observations are correct, it would be something else in their environment causing the problem. Again, living in Southern California, the most obvious variable would be normal daily sun exposure, perhaps even such exposure in combination with chemicals used in the profession. One explanation may be in the UV/LED lamps themselves. The FDA testing was done on branded lamps. It is possible that cheap generic lamps could expose people to more radiation than branded lamps. There are a number of explanations for what you think you've observed. Good science does not jump to unwarranted conclusions. All preventive methods have impacts as well, so it is important to make sure there really is not only a correlation but causation as well before implementing prevention.
I agree with the premise that branded lamps are more likely to represent themselves truthfully but the FDA doesn't really test nail lamps. They don't test cosmetic products before they go to market and they don't do research studies. They may do testing if there's a complaint. And while they're empowered to do field testing on UV lamps, they primarily test tanning beds for illegal amounts of radiation.

Can you point to what you're research referring to? The scientists at OPI, McConnell Labs, and CND published joint research on the old CFL lamps in 2010. Is that what you're referring to or do you know of newer LED UV research? I couldn't find anything on Pubmed (and I have full access through my university because I'm currently in graduate school).
 

Valerie N

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Why don't you visit a dermatologist and ask for their opinion, Valerie? You can ask them for a tretinoin (Retin-A) prescription. It's the only drug on the market that can truly reverse aging. If you've been using over-the-counter products, they can't compare to what tretinoin can do. Ask them to evaluate the effectiveness of your current sunscreen and go over your application routine to make sure you're applying it for maximum effectiveness. Also, applying an L-AA based vitamin c serum prior to exposure can boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen and fade age spots. I like Nufountain C20.

Our nail lamps emit UV-A, which is responsible for visible aging (rather than UV-B, which is primarily responsible for cancer), so it's not impossible that repeated exposure would age the skin. I haven't experienced this but I've been doing nails for less than 10 years. I also have brown skin so I have more sun protection. If you're naturally fair, I understand why you'd be concerned. Techs spend more time in the lamp than our clients because we experiment with nail art and test products on ourselves. Like others have mentioned, environmental exposure is probably driving most of your premature aging but the time in your nail lamp can't help. UV damage is cumulative so even the short bursts in the lamp will add up over the years.

Are your hands aging "overnight"? No, you're letting your worries get the best of you. Is frequent lamp use contributing to the aging of your hands overall? Probably. But if you're wearing sunscreen diligently every day (like everyone should), you shouldn't stress too much.
I appreciate your insightful and helpful response. Thank you!!

P.S. Of course it didn't happen overnight but the accelerated change after I started using UV\LED not having to do with normal aging, my skin regimen, and even significant reduced sun exposure in general. I meant to exaggerate to express my shock and not taken so literally.

I agree with the premise that branded lamps are more likely to represent themselves truthfully but the FDA doesn't really test nail lamps. They don't test cosmetic products before they go to market and they don't do research studies. They may do testing if there's a complaint. And while they're empowered to do field testing on UV lamps, they primarily test tanning beds for illegal amounts of radiation.

Can you point to what you're research referring to? The scientists at OPI, McConnell Labs, and CND published joint research on the old CFL lamps in 2010. Is that what you're referring to or do you know of newer LED UV research? I couldn't find anything on Pubmed (and I have full access through my university because I'm currently in graduate school).
I noticed there are so few research on gel nails and quite dated. Do you have any opinions on why?
 

NancySyd

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I agree with the premise that branded lamps are more likely to represent themselves truthfully but the FDA doesn't really test nail lamps. They don't test cosmetic products before they go to market and they don't do research studies. They may do testing if there's a complaint. And while they're empowered to do field testing on UV lamps, they primarily test tanning beds for illegal amounts of radiation.

Can you point to what you're research referring to? The scientists at OPI, McConnell Labs, and CND published joint research on the old CFL lamps in 2010. Is that what you're referring to or do you know of newer LED UV research? I couldn't find anything on Pubmed (and I have full access through my university because I'm currently in graduate school).
I would refer you to Doug Schoon who has a more complete listing of them, but here's some of the writing and research I was referring to:
 

againstm

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I would refer you to Doug Schoon who has a more complete listing of them, but here's some of the writing and research I was referring to:
These are articles refer to a 2013 study of the safety of lamps, which I don't think is in question. I'm satisfied that the research has demonstrated that lamps don't emit a significant amount of UV-B. Clearly, the FDA was satisfied too if they used it to inform their safety guidance.

I'd love to see research on the cosmetic aging effects of UV-A more specifically. The amount of UV-A radiation emitted is low overall and the hands resist UV radiation more than other parts of the body but that doesn't mean there's no cumulative effect. I think that's what Valerie was getting at but I'm not sure that such research exists.

I appreciate your insightful and helpful response. Thank you!!

P.S. Of course it didn't happen overnight but the accelerated change after I started using UV\LED not having to do with normal aging, my skin regimen, and even significant reduced sun exposure in general. I meant to exaggerate to express my shock and not taken so literally.


I noticed there are so few research on gel nails and quite dated. Do you have any opinions on why?
I do! I'm definitely not a scientist but I'm a long time follower of the Beauty Brains, a pair of cosmetic chemists who work to demystify beauty science for the rest of us. From what I understand, most scientific research in beauty is done one of two ways:
  • Researchers study skin diseases and treatments using public funds and private grants. This research is usually done at universities and focus on health and safety.
  • Cosmetic companies create a new product and have a list of claims they'd like to make about the product. In-house scientists design research that will allow the companies to make the claims they desire. This is obviously lower quality research because it's biased. It doesn't mean that the studies are total trash but it does mean that they need to be carefully scrutinized to assess research quality. The average person isn't able to discern the difference and most research is behind a paywall.
The research in the former category focuses on actual medical conditions. So you'll find higher quality research on acne rather than wrinkles because acne is a skin disease and wrinkles are not. Even Retin-A that I mentioned above, the gold standard of anti-aging drugs, was discovered to reverse wrinkles because it was being studied as an acne drug. Researchers noted that longterm acne patients using Retin-A didn't want to stop using the drug after their acne resolved because their skin looked so good.

So if research focuses on safety and we know that gel nails and lamps are generally considered safe, there's little incentive to fund research about cosmetic effects. That's especially true because companies largely fund their own research. I'd love to see more research concerning allergies because that's a legitimate health concern. We're such a small niche in the industry so I won't hold my breath. All we can do is buy products made in US/ Europe, use our dust extractors, wear our masks, and avoid uncured product.
 

Valerie N

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I do! I'm definitely not a scientist but I'm a long time follower of the Beauty Brains, a pair of cosmetic chemists who work to demystify beauty science for the rest of us. From what I understand, most scientific research in beauty is done one of two ways:
  • Researchers study skin diseases and treatments using public funds and private grants. This research is usually done at universities and focus on health and safety.
  • Cosmetic companies create a new product and have a list of claims they'd like to make about the product. In-house scientists design research that will allow the companies to make the claims they desire. This is obviously lower quality research because it's biased. It doesn't mean that the studies are total trash but it does mean that they need to be carefully scrutinized to assess research quality. The average person isn't able to discern the difference and most research is behind a paywall.
The research in the former category focuses on actual medical conditions. So you'll find higher quality research on acne rather than wrinkles because acne is a skin disease and wrinkles are not. Even Retin-A that I mentioned above, the gold standard of anti-aging drugs, was discovered to reverse wrinkles because it was being studied as an acne drug. Researchers noted that longterm acne patients using Retin-A didn't want to stop using the drug after their acne resolved because their skin looked so good.

So if research focuses on safety and we know that gel nails and lamps are generally considered safe, there's little incentive to fund research about cosmetic effects. That's especially true because companies largely fund their own research. I'd love to see more research concerning allergies because that's a legitimate health concern. We're such a small niche in the industry so I won't hold my breath. All we can do is buy products made in US/ Europe, use our dust extractors, wear our masks, and avoid uncured product.
I agree with you (quite the contrary on the last discussion lol).

That's what bothers me. Is that there is one stand out scientist that speaks about nail health and written books on and some research to back up their claims. We must use that to compare to other research to confirm safety. We need more research on the safety of gel applications as artificial nails & yes esp. rising allergy concerns. I think because our industry is so niche, and unregulated is not only reason for no incentive to do research, but to get away with a lot of things at the cost of the consumer's health. That's N O T R I G H T.


Thanks for the Beauty Brains mention. I will start to follow them as I am growing a passion about it....perhaps I should've finished my 2 year left of the biochemistry B.S. at Uni. Lol.
 

BobSweden

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Honestly, there have been billions of gel and gel polish applications Worldwide over the past 30 years. If UV lamps did cause ageing, would we not have heard of this by now. That is an ginormous sample size!
 

Valerie N

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Honestly, there have been billions of gel and gel polish applications Worldwide over the past 30 years. If UV lamps did cause ageing, would we not have heard of this by now. That is an ginormous sample size!
Hm.
 

Rachel_GGN

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For gel users, how many of you have noticed accelerated aging in the hands?

Accelerated ageing is a consequence of many factors within various context, though when dealing with UV / LED exposure you can literally look at raisins for your answer.

A raisin sits in the sun, it becomes dehydrated over time and the wrinkled form that is left is resultant of its inner structure too. The majority of age related issues are down to dehydration.. from both within and without. Things get dried out.

Lamps do not have the same power as the sun, but I get that it completely makes sense over prolonged use that it could have an effect, especially since there are so many non pro branded lamps in use after the boom in cheap and cheerful instagram business buying from sources with little to no testing done.

Drinking plenty of water helps, as does regularly moisturising.

I can absolutely appreciate your concerns, because many lamp users do feel that the age related issues come from the lamp itself, though I would say it is more down to self care and aftercare that is not advised - which I believe it should be with absolutely every light emitting product for the purpose, or that moisturising is just not done anyway by the user despite advice.

Dehydration is the ageing factor.

All pro lamps would really do well to have the essential information that comes with them to include the need to use a decent, if not their own formulation of moisturiser to go hand in hand (I totally intend that pun) with specific nail lamp use regularly, as well as the usual nail oil advice for the localised nail area. I see this to be the next level of professionalism that the general public can then ask prospective nail technicians to demonstrate before going into a service with them, having the choice to walk away from them if it is non existent.
 
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againstm

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For gel users, how many of you have noticed accelerated aging in the hands?

Accelerated ageing is a consequence of many factors within various context, though when dealing with UV / LED exposure you can literally look at raisins for your answer.

A raisin sits in the sun, it becomes dehydrated over time and the wrinkled form that is left is resultant of its inner structure too. The majority of age related issues are down to dehydration.. from both within and without. Things get dried out.

Lamps do not have the same power as the sun, but I get that it completely makes sense over prolonged use that it could have an effect, especially since there are so many non regulated lamps on the market and in use after the boom in cheap and cheerful instagram business buying from sources with little to no testing done.

Drinking plenty of water helps, as does regularly moisturising.

Dehydration is the ageing factor.
You're mistaken. The primary factor in visible aging is UV radiation. In Caucasian skin, UV radiation from the sun is responsible for about 80% of visible aging. Darker skin has more natural sun protection from melanin but the sun is still the primary driver of visible aging. Other factors include smoking, fat volume, diet, and illness. Preliminary research has shown that the increased intake of water can improve the appearance of dry skin. But dry skin is not a driving factor in aging, it's a visible sign of it.

The skin-smoothing effect of moisturizing creams is largely superficial. Humectants draw water to the skin, occlusives trap water in the dermis, and emollients smooth down the uppermost layer (epidermis) to impart a youthful appearance. Non-drug ingredients in moisturizers do not make physiological changes to the skin that would affect the processes that underlie aging. Rather, moisturizers superficially counteract the appearance of aging.

Sources:
 

Rachel_GGN

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Yes, agreed as my previous post UV radiation is the catalyst for dehydration - which contributes to the process of ageing.

Water / moisturising is a large part of the solution, which will be preventative in the same way as an SPF is to protect from daily or holiday sun rays. Nobody said a word about existing signs of ageing :) .

Hydration plays a huge part in how we roll as humans, as does the radiation from the sun. Both counteract each other.

Thank you for sharing some of the other context, like smoking. When others read these posts it will help them consider everything else that contributes to the ageing process too.
 

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