After Receiving Cancer Diagnosis, Miss Illinois Reveals Gel Manicures Were The Likely Culprit

Getting your nails done is the one of the best self-care activities you can do nowadays.

There is no need for a special occasion — and upgrading your nails to a gel manicure with your bestie can make you feel like a #KWEEN.

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If you are not familiar with what exactly gel polishes are — they are an instantly drying polish that guarantees zero chipping for up to three whole weeks.

And while it is a few bucks extra, most who have experienced the luxury will tell you — it is worth the up-charge.

But that being said, their are many who are still wary when it comes to long-wear polish — and after one beauty queen’s experience, you also may join the a fore mentioned crew.

While gel manicures do stay on for longer periods of time than regular manicures, the nail underneath the gel can weaken, peel off, age the skin and in worst case scenarios — cause skin cancer.

Studies have discovered that weekly or monthly gel manicures — which involves curing the polish under a UV light — is not enough to develop any serious risks of getting skin cancer, some dermatologists as well as health experts don’t agree and encourage people to take steps to protect their skin prior to exposing it to the UV light.

Image via flickr

Karolina Jasko, 20, unfortunately, learned the hard way.

The current Miss Illinois exposed her skin to the light frequently — and later was diagnosed with melanoma at the young age of 18.

“I got a black vertical line under my right fingernail and I never really noticed it because I always had acrylics,” Jasko shared.

She went on to say how that little line was actually one of the most aggressive types of skin cancer.

“The doctor said I most likely got it from getting my nails done at the nail salon, from the light,” she said.

Image via Instagram

Those who have a history of the disease in their family, have a higher risk of melanoma.

So how does it happen at a nail salon exactly?

UV light can cause damage to the skin cells — triggering genetic defects that manifest in the form of tumors.

Director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, Dr. Carolyn Jacob, recommends using “a sunscreen that has a physical blocker like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to cover all of your skin.”

Jasko now has a scar on her thumb, as a result of the disease.

But despite the permanent reminder, she is grateful the cancer was caught before it spread.

Image via Instagram

“I’m a little self-conscious about it, but I was lucky,” Jasko shared with UPI. “The doctors originally thought they would have to remove my whole thumb, and you never realize how much you use your right thumb until you think about losing it.”

Currently, she uses her platform to spread awareness about melanoma as well as the risks of gel manicures.

“Being Miss Illinois USA helps me a lot because I get to talk about it with large groups of people and I feel like I get to bring awareness,” she said.

You should regularly examine your nails as well as the skin around it. If you see any changes in your nails – including new dark line that is not a bruise – consult your doctor as soon as possible. Like any cancer, the earlier you can detect it, the better the outcome will be.

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