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From the Editors

The FDA Weighs in on UV Lamp Safety — And They Have Nothing Scary to Say!

by Judy Lessin | July 6, 2017

The FDA just put out a consumer update called “How to Safely Use Nail Care Products” that addresses consumer concerns about UV lamp safety. Their verdict? UV lamps are “low risk” when used as directed by the label. The FDA’s announcement, which includes a video aimed at salon-goers, goes on to list some precautions consumers can take if they still feel uneasy, or are taking a medication that causes increased sensitivity to UV rays.

Here are some excerpts from the FDA’s statement:

“...the FDA views nail curing lamps as low risk when used as directed by the label. For example, a 2013 published study indicated that — even for the worst-case lamp that was evaluated — 36 minutes of daily exposure to this lamp was below the occupational exposure limits for UV radiation.

To date, the FDA has not received any reports of burns or skin cancer attributed to these lamps.

That said, if you’re concerned about potential risks from UV exposure, you can avoid using these lamps.

You may particularly want to avoid these lamps if you’re using certain medications or supplements that make you more sensitive to UV rays. These medications include some antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and estrogens — and supplements can include St. John’s Wort.

Also remove cosmetics, fragrances, and skin care products (except sunscreen!) before using these lamps, as some of these products can make you more sensitive to UV rays.

And if you do choose to use these devices, you can reduce UV exposure by:

> Wearing UV-absorbing gloves that expose only your nails.

> Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. (Since nail treatments can include exposure to water, follow the sunscreen’s labeled directions for use in these situations.)

Finally, nail curing lamps usually come with instructions for exposure time. The shorter your exposure, the less risky the exposure, in general. So always follow labeled directions when available. In general, you should not use these devices for more than 10 minutes per hand, per session.”

You can read the full Consumer Update here.

 

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