Gel nails offer longer staying power than traditional nail polishes, but there has been concern over the safety of the gel manicure. Gel nail polish is applied to the nail and then set by exposure to ultraviolet light. UV light exposure has been linked to premature aging and skin cancer.
The risk of malignant skin cancer from UV gel nail lamps is extremely low. However, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that women reduce the frequency of their gel manicure to further reduce their risk. It also suggests applying sunscreen to the top of the hands while they are exposed to the UV rays or wearing UV blocking gloves without the fingertips.