Popular salon gel nails have some disadvantages

November 1, 2011

Many older women frequent the nail salon, undergoing gel nail manicures that are very popular now. For a gel nail manicure, a gel polish has to be heat ultraviolet-cured between each layer of polish. There are advantages and disadvantages to this relatively new type of polish.

New York - Many older women frequent the nail salon, undergoing gel nail manicures that are very popular now. For a gel nail manicure, a gel polish has to be heat ultraviolet-cured between each layer of polish.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this relatively new type of polish, says Richard K. Scher, M.D., New York.

"Some gel manicures last two weeks or longer, which is a positive," he says. "However, there is increased exposure to ultraviolet and there have been several articles that suggest there might have been increased keratosis from UV light."

"We know that in women who use the nail sculptures for long periods of time, their nails do get thinner and 'weaker.' There might be a tendency - gel nails have not been available that long - for this to happen with gel nails," Dr. Scher says.

He recommends that female patients who like the nail sculptures give their nails a rest every few months.

"I believe this is true of the gel nails as well," he says.