Dr. Oz is at it again. I have been receiving lots of concerned calls, e-mails, and messages this week as once again our services fall under attack by those looking to further their own careers and profit from telling pieces of a story while withholding the full truth from the public. Today’s blog is meant to be a big cyber bear hug from me to you and a whisper in your ear that we can survive this together. The best way to defeat half-truths is with science-backed full truths and telling “the rest of the story”.
The first claim is danger from the UV lamp. If reports from a doctor are sufficient evidence then here are some quotes from doctors as well as evidence from scientific testing in research facilities not related to the beauty industry:
According to Dr. Robert M. Sayre, Ph.D., of Rapid Precision Testing Laboratories one of the creators of the SPF rating system: “UV Nail Lamps are safer than natural sunlight or sunlamps.” According to Dr. Sayre: “People who are indoors have little to no skin risk due to long-term exposure to fluorescent lighting. People who sunbathe or work outdoors have real risks of excessive UV exposure, the cause of sunburn and skin cancer.” Hands get more UV exposure holding the steering wheel of a car or talking on a cell phone outside than they do from the use of UV nail lamps.
"One would need 250 years of weekly nail sessions to equal one treatment in a tanning bed." Dr Markova & Dr Weinstock (I do not post this comment to bash tanning, merely to give a comparison that people can relate to.)
"LED is less dangerous than UV." Both of these types of light have UV output, they simply have different types of bulbs. LED lamps put out a higher intensity of UVA in order to provide faster curing times. As evidenced by the quotes and report above, neither is causing damage.
The next claim is allergies. Can you become allergic to products used on your nails? Yes, just as you can become allergic to food you eat, perfume you use, flowers you smell, and pretty much anything in your environment that you come into contact with regularly. Can you prevent an allergy? Yes, by making sure that products are used per manufacturers’ instructions. No polish should touch the skin; it should only be applied to the nail iteself. Avoiding contact with the skin during application and using the lamp calibrated to properly cure the product will help prevent overexposure that can lead to an allergy.
The third claim is infection. Nail services should not require a Tylenol or a Band-Aid! Living tissue should not be cut and the thin ridge of skin at the base of the nail is living tissue. This ridge of skin known as the eponychium should not be aggressively pushed back nor removed as it helps create a seal that protects the matrix producing the nail cells. Infections can arise from dirty implements or files as well as cut skin. Finding a salon that follows the industry standard in sanitation, disinfection, and procedures is the first step toward a healthy nail service of any kind. Be proactive and let your salon guests know what you do to keep them safe — how you clean your tools, that they get a new file each time, etc.
The fourth claim is damage. Do nail products themselves damage the nails? No, improper care of the nails causes damage. Some damage can be caused by an undereducated professional such as using a metal pusher or nipper to remove nail coatings from the nail. Damage can also occur with overfilling of the natural nail. What our guests also need to be aware of is that improper home care can damage the nails as well. For instance peeling or picking off a nail coating takes part of the nail plate leaving the nail thinner and possibly uneven. Buffing the nails excessively at home will thin them as well, and choosing not to condition them in any manner allows them to be more susceptible to being dry and brittle.
I’m sharing a photo of nails that have had manicures using a UV lamp for over a year on a 90-year-old client so you can see the condition of her natural nail as well as share the photo until you can take some of your own. Create photo proof of the way you take care of nails, of your disinfection practice, etc. Face this false stories with facts. I hope this helps, hang in there!