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A systematic review of the risk of cutaneous malignancy associated with ultraviolet nail lamps: what is the price of beauty? Volume 34, issue 1, January-February 2024

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Authors
1 Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
3 Division of Dermatology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
4 Division of Dermatology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
* Reprints: Mohannad Abu-Hilal

Gel manicures have become part of a popular personal care service in the last two decades due to increased longevity of the polish and the added strength to the nail plate. Prolonged exposure to nail ultraviolet (UV) lamps is required to cure the gel polish. Despite the increased use of UV nail lamps, there is limited consensus in the literature on the risk of skin malignancy associated with UV nail lamps. The objective of this article was to provide a systematic review of the risk of skin malignancy associated with the use of UV nail lamps and to synthesize evidence-based recommendations on their safe usage. A systematic review of the literature was conducted on the databases, Medline and Embase, in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. The search yielded 2,331 non-duplicate articles. Nine were ultimately included, of which three were case reports, one was a cross-sectional study, and five were experimental studies. The risk of bias per the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines was high or unclear, likely due to the number of case reports included. Prolonged and repeated exposure to UV nail lamps may pose a low risk of skin cancer. It is important to note that the available evidence is weak, and patients should be informed about the limited data to make their own decisions. Dermatologists and other healthcare providers should be updated with the latest evidence to address patients’ concerns about gel manicures and suggest practices which can effectively reduce the risk of cutaneous malignancy associated with gel manicures, such as the use of UV-blocking gloves or properly applied sunscreens.