Is LED Nail Lamp Safe During Pregnancy?

Is LED Nail Lamp Safe During Pregnancy
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Pregnancy is a joyful and exhilarating time, but it also comes with a range of concerns and considerations. For fashion-forward women, the habit of applying nail polish is often hard to resist. Therefore, the safety of using LED nail lamps during pregnancy has become a frequent topic of concern. This article aims to address this issue and provide expectant mothers with comprehensive and informative insights.

Understanding Nail Polish Products

Nail lamps are used to cure nail polish, so let’s begin by discussing nail polish instead of nail lamps. Nail polish products can be broadly categorized into three types:

  • Regular Nail Polish: These polishes require a fan or air dryer to dry and typically contain a significant amount of chemicals, such as toluene, formaldehyde, phthalates, pigments, and glitter. The strong odor of these chemicals makes them easy to inhale and penetrate the skin, which can affect the nervous system, blood, and skin of humans. These chemicals can be harmful to both the mother’s body and the developing fetus, especially during the critical first trimester when the baby’s cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems are forming.
The technical differences between Gel Nail Polish and Regular Nail Polish
  • Gel Nail Polish: Also known as “gel manicures,” these polishes are more durable than regular nail polish, and their main ingredient is acrylic resin zwitterion. In fact, we are familiar with this material as it is used for dental fillings. The composition includes color pigments and natural resins that solidify under ultraviolet radiation. The most significant difference from regular polish is that gel polish does not evaporate but instead solidifies.

However, there are also differences between good and bad gel nail polish. We can distinguish them based on a few characteristics:

1) No irritating odor.
2) Avoid using gel polish and sealers that contain fluorescent agents and acid.

*Note: Pregnant women should use a nail drill machine or nail file to remove gel nail polish instead of chemical solvents. Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid gel manicures in the month close to the due date since the gel is more solid, making it difficult for doctors to remove.

  • Press-on Nails: These convenient nail stickers are directly applied to the nails and can be easily removed. Their composition does not penetrate the skin, making them a safer option for expectant mothers.

Understanding UV Nail Lamps

LED nail lamps, a staple in modern nail salons, are favored for their speed and efficiency. They can cure gel polish in a matter of seconds to minutes.

The curing process involves a chemical reaction known as photopolymerization. When the gel polish is exposed to the UV light from the LED lamp, it triggers a reaction in the photoinitiators in the polish. This reaction causes the liquid gel polish to harden and set, resulting in a glossy, chip-resistant finish that can last for weeks.

Nail lamps can be primarily categorized based on their light source: LED lamps and UV lamps. LED lamps emit light in a single band, while UV lamps emit ultraviolet light. Both light sources have relatively low radiation levels, so occasional exposure for pregnant women is not likely to have adverse effects. (A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology estimated that it would take 250 years of weekly manicures to reach the UV exposure levels associated with a significant risk of skin cancer.)

However, pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman’s body, making it more sensitive to certain stimuli, including light and heat. Frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to skin moisture loss and darkening. Additionally, accidental direct exposure to the light source may irritate the eyes, causing dryness and watering, which can have adverse effects on the health of pregnant women.

Medical experts generally recommend caution in using nail lamps during pregnancy. Although there are no clear studies showing that the use of these lamps will have adverse effects on pregnancy, it is advisable to use them as sparingly as possible.

Environmental Aspects of Nail Salons

Lastly, the environment of the nail salon is also a significant factor to consider. It is essential to visit reputable nail salons for manicures and hand or foot care services. Pay attention to whether the air inside the salon has sufficient circulation and whether the nail tools are thoroughly sterilized.

Manicure and pedicure salon

Avoid unlicensed or irregular stores whose establishments often use counterfeit or unlicensed nail polish, which may contain more harmful substances than mentioned earlier, posing greater health risks. Moreover, the inadequate sterilization facilities in such informal nail salons raise hygiene concerns, as some tools may not undergo proper sterilization before use.

Additionally, if you frequently visit nail salons to have your fingernails or toenails trimmed, it is important to avoid having the nail technician trim the epidermis around your nails. During pregnancy, you are more susceptible to infections, and trimming the epidermis can increase the risk of bacterial infections.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can the heat from nail lamps harm the fetus?
    The heat emitted by nail lamps is extremely low, making it unlikely to harm the fetus.
  • How often can I safely use nail lamps during pregnancy?
    While there are no specific guidelines, it is best to minimize usage to reduce UV exposure, such as using them once every two weeks or once a month.
  • Is there a specific brand of nail lamp recommended for pregnant women?
    There are no nail lamp brands on the market specifically designed for pregnant women, but you can opt for lamps with lower UV output, like IKSBEAUTY’s NL20, NL30, NL40, etc. We can also customize the wattage and UV output of the nail lamps according to the client’s needs.


While there is no definitive evidence suggesting that using nail lamps during pregnancy is harmful, it’s prudent to err on the side of caution. Be especially careful not to direct the light therapy lamp directly onto your stomach.
Please keep in mind that this article provides scientific information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions during pregnancy.
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