An 18-year-old American beauty queen was diagnosed with skin cancer after she noticed something unusual about her nails.
Karolina Jasko, who had been awarded ‘Miss Illinois’ in the 2018 Miss USA beauty pageant, was getting her nails done when she noticed a thin black line running under the nails on her right hand.
The beauty queen, now 20 years old, went to straight to the doctor to see if she could find out more information about the black lines.
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Ms Jasko was diagnosed with melanoma, and was told by the doctors the skin cancer had developed from her ‘getting gel manicures’.
Ms Jasko spoke to the Fox News network about her experience with the melanoma:
I got this black vertical line under my right fingernails and I never really noticed it because I always had acrylics.
The doctor said I most likely got it from getting my nails done at the nail salon – from getting acrylics from the light.
When getting gel nails done, a light emitting UVA rays is usually used to help set the gel. The light helps the gel last for up to three weeks..
Ms Jasko’s family has a history of melanoma, and dermatologist Dr Caroline Jacobsyn suggests the beauty queen may have been at a higher risk of developing the cancer because of this.
The dermatologist spoke to Fox, warning people about the dangers of UV:
Whether indoor tanning, UV lamp, outdoor tanning, all of those can cause aging of the skin and potential for skin cancers
According to a report published by the American Academy of Dermatology states that using UV lights during gel manicures is cause for concern.
UVA rays damage collagen and DNA as it penetrates the skin. As a result, the light can cause premature ageing and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Doctors recommend wearing sun cream to help protect your hands while having gel nails applied, or looking into getting protective gloves for your hands.
Dr Jacobsyn advised:
Use a sunscreen that has a physical blocker like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to cover all of your skin.
Another dermatologist, Dana Stern, spoke to Marie Claire about the likelihood of increasing the risk of melanoma from having manicures. She said:
A study quantified the skin-cancer risk of these devices and determined that even if you were to have a gel manicure every week, your chances of developing skin cancer would not be increased.
Despite this information, it is still important to protect yourself around UV rays.
Signs of potential skin cancer around your nails can include spots or infections that don’t clear up, or a brown line down your nail.
As a result of her melanoma, Miss Jasko lost a number of fingernails and now has scarring on her thumb.
Ms Jasko decided to tell her story in an attempt to raise awareness for the potential dangers of using UVA lights while getting manicures, using the Miss USA platform to help reach larger audiences.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.