Did gel manicures give this beauty queen cancer?

She says yes!

American beauty queen Karolina Jasko loved to get a manicure and she did so roughly every three weeks for several years.

Like so many women these days, Karolina opted for gel-style manicures, knowing that they not only dry instantly, but are guaranteed to last for 21 days without chipping, peeling or fading. 

The gel style manicure arrived on the beauty scene about a decade ago and instantly revolutionised the mani-pedi business with the service quickly becoming highly sought-after at nail bars and beauty salons.

But not everyone was enamoured of this style of nail treatment. Some felt the UV light that ‘cured’ the gel nail lacquer could be dangerous. And Karolina’s story is only adding fuel to that fire.

Karolina Jasko
Karolina – also known as Miss Illinois. (Image: Instagram/@Karolinajasko)

The 20-year-old college student and beauty queen (she is the reigning Miss Illinois), has told UPI she was in her final year of high school when a manicurist pointed out a black line running through the middle of her thumbnail.

Concerned, Karolina visited a doctor immediately and it was there received bad news – the line was in fact an indication of melanoma of the nail.

Karolina underwent three separate surgeries and the eventual loss of the nail. Her doctors were able to save her thumb.

“I’m a little self-conscious about it, but I was lucky,” she says.

“The doctors originally thought they would have to remove my whole thumb, and you never realise how much you use your right thumb until you think about losing it.”

In reality Karolina was far more lucky than she’s letting on. If the melanoma had not been spotted and treated immediately it could have spread throughout her body – eventually costing her her life.

Karolina Jasko
The beauty queen is in fine health today. (Image: Instagram/@Karolinajasko)

Karolina was quoted on shared as saying that her doctor told her the melanoma was likely caused by the UV light associated with gel nail ‘curing’. 

It is of course impossible to say what caused the melanoma but some dermatologists do agree the lights could be dangerous, especially for someone such as Karolina who has melanoma in the family (her mother also fought and beat this type of cancer).

The fact is, however, that the lamps used to dry gel nails emit UV radiation. In particular, they emit UVA rays, which is linked to skin damage, premature skin ageing and skin cancer, according to research published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology.

Clearly, it’s something to consider at the very least. Our advice – if you are getting this style of mani and / or pedi, apply a generous amount of sunscreen first.

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