Could your manicure cause you cancer?

You may have heard or even done that new gel manicure many are raving about.

Women told us they love it, and why not? They look beautiful, dry fast and last for weeks.

All over the country, ladies are flocking to nail salons to get this long-lasting nail color experience.

It cost anywhere from $30 to $40 bucks, can last more than 14 days before chipping and leaves your nails looking shiny and polished.

But is this magnificent mani putting your health at risk?

Here is how it works, in between the layers of polish your nails go under a UV light for no more than 10 minutes to cure the polymers causing it to dry in no-time.

But it TMs that same U-V light has some dermatologists nervous.

According to a study done in 2009, two middle-aged white women with no family history of skin cancer and who both worked indoors, developed non-melanoma skin cancer after repeated exposure to high powered u-v lights at a nail salon.

It revealed, one woman developed squamous cell carcinoma on her right index finger after a 15 year history of twice monthly U-V nail light exposure.

The other developed the same type of cancer after being exposed to the lamp eight times in one year.

Critics stress strong conclusions cannot be made from a limited case but encourage doctors to start examining nail lights as a potential skin cancer risk.

Dr. Stephen Schwartz has practiced as a dermatologist in Harlingen for over 35 years and said the link between the two is still fairly new.

He stated that after reading the full study he was a bit skeptical.

I TMm not sure that's all settled, there's lots of different lights| depending on how long you TMve been in the light and the manufacture of the light| there is going to be variables.

Variables that to him, have yet to prove a direct correlation between these lamps and cancer.

Gel polish makers like CND Shellac, one the most popular brands in the market, strongly refutes these claims.

There's never been any proof of cancer from UV nail lamps, said Roxanne Valinoti, Education Manager for CND Shellac.

The company told Action 4 the allegations are farfetched and on their website even posted their own study.

You TMre going to get more exposure driving your car or spending a minute or two on the sunlight every day, said Valinoti. So we feel really good about it because we know from our independent testing that they are safe.

She added that these lights have been on the market for over 30 years and have no proven linkage to premature aging or skin cancer.

Another nail company giant fighting these test is Gelish.

They emailed us a statement from their PR firm Nail Harmony that read, studies have repeatedly shown that the hands aren't in the lamps long enough to cause any damage."

Dr. Swartz agreed and said the occasional manicure client shouldn TMt be too worried.

The most common thing that this would cause would be some brown spots what some people call liver spots."

The dermatologist advises an easy fix, for peace of mind, is using a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium before heading to the salon.

And it looks like business here in the valley are really nailing the message.

We understand that it is a concern and so one of the steps we've taken in order to appease that concern and make people feel comfortable is that we apply a sunscreen," said Edna Posada, Owner of La Posada Day Spa.

Terry Rendon, Owner of the Carriage House in Brownsville said she also tries the same approach.

And in Harlingen, nail salons like Top Ten Nails are also following the safety measure.

You can put sun block on it but basically it TMs too low of a radiation to cause even skin cancer," said Dana Nguyen, manager at Top Ten.

But u-v rays aside there is still another fear left to scrub.

Yolanda Araceli Ramos told Action 4 News that she use to do shellac but stopped after noticing substantial damage to her nails.

Dr. Antonella Tosti is a professor of Clinical Dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, she conducted a study on the damage constant use of this gel manicure could have.

After testing out four women she said she concluded that they all complained of weaker and brittle nails.

We found that after the manicure the nail became thinner and fragile so it caused like fragility and nail thinning.

She recommends that clients not do this every single month and use with caution when doing so.

She explained that perhaps some nail techs may not be doing the process correctly giving gel manicures a bad name.

Dana Nguyen at Top Ten said she often times has to correct other peoples work.

They get the drill and they take off the shellac there's no purpose of you doing shellac and you TMre taking off with a drill, said Nguyen. There TMs no purpose because you TMre ruining your nail."

According to Dr. Tosti, the removal process is the most crucial part of the manicure.

Although, some customers may feel resorting to doing it themselves is the easiest, least expensive way to go she said your nails could end up paying the ultimate price.

Shellac assures that if removed correctly by a professional, "there shouldn't be a problem".

They instruct nail techs to cover up finger nails with acetone-full cotton balls and then surround it with foil.

It TMs a 10 minute process they guarantee is pain-free!

Despite the controversy, both Shellac and Gelish said it hasn TMt hurt their sales.

It has quadrupled our business in the past 2 years, said Valinoti.

Something also being felt here at home.

According to Edna Posada, her business has seen an increase ever since introducing this manicure to her three locations in the valley.

Of the manicures we do, 60 percent are shellac manicures, the number of women that like it just keeps growing and growing."

So to gel or not to gel?

That is the question.

Only time will tell if women here in the valley are willing to try this no-chip manicure for themselves.