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Spring Pedicure: Doctor Warns of Foot Risks

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on March 22, 2011 6:51 AM

A new craze has hit the nation!

Or at least the nation's nail salons.

Lacquer nail polish, also known as shellac nail treatments, has women flocking to salons for pedicures designed to last two to three weeks.

Though a lacquer pedicure only promises busy women pretty feet, it may just come with an unsolicited gift:

Skin cancer.

For those of us not in the know, lacquer nail polish is set with ultraviolet light. The nail technician places a base coat on the nails, then the nails go under a UV light. Then there's a coat of lacquer nail polish, followed by two more minutes under the UV light. This is then repeated, and then followed by a top coat and another stint under the light.

That's a lot of ultra-violet light. Which is why doctors are now warning women that one too many lacquer pedicures can lead to skin cancer.

Though the amount of exposure is low, the UV light used in a salon is the same kind of light that poses risk from the sun. Repeated exposure adds up.

Now that you know the risks, you can make an informed choice as to whether to treat yourself to a lacquer pedicure or to go a week with ugly feet. But what if you never read this blog, and the exposure caused cancer?

There might be a personal injury case, but it depends on where you live, what you personally know, and what kind of warning was given by the nail technician.

Any good lawyer would argue that you assumed the risks associated with a lacquer pedicure if you knew, or were told, that the process involves ultra-violet light. It's common sense that repeated exposure to UV light can cause skin cancer.

However, if you failed to research the process, or were never told by your technician, then you may have a case for failure to warn.

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