New York Times nail salon lamps may increase skin cancer risk

Nail salon dryers, which use ultraviolet light to speed the drying and hardening of nail polishes and gels, emit varying levels of radiation that can lead to risky skin damage in as few as eight visits to the manicurist, a new study shows. The nail dryers emit primarily UVA light the same kind of ultraviolet light used in tanning beds and are used to dry nail polish or to harden a gel manicure. Gel manicures are popular because they create long-lasting, shiny nails through a chemical gel that is painted on the nail in layers and cured under UV light after every coating. Case reports of two women who developed squamous cell skin cancers on their hands have suggested an association between cancer and the UV nail light devices, but most doctors agree the risk is low.

New York Times nail salon lamps may increase skin cancer risk
In the new study, researchers from Georgia Regents University in Augusta conducted a random sampling of 17 different UV nail lamps found in salons to determine how much ultraviolet radiation is being emitted when clients dry their nails under the lights. The study, published as a research letter this week in the journal JAMA Dermatology, found wide variation in the dose of UVA light emitted during eight minutes of nail drying or hardening. The dose, measured in joules per centimeter squared, ranged from less than one to eight. DNA damage that can lead to skin cancer is known to occur around 60 joules per centimeter squared, and none of the nail lamps came close to that number. However, the researchers estimated that for most of the lamps tested, eight to 14 visits over 24 to 42 months would reach the threshold for DNA damage to the skin.

Lamps with higher-wattage bulbs emitted the highest levels of UV radiation, but it would not be easy for a salon client to check the wattage before using a machine. Clients who are concerned about the risk but want to continue getting gel manicures, which require UV light, have a few options. They can skip the lotion-and-massage portion of the manicure and instead coat their hands with sunscreen before having gel nails applied. Another option is to wear UV-protective gloves with the fingertips cut off so only the nails are exposed to the light. Users of regular nail polish can try fans or air-drying if they want to avoid the devices.

Readmore Words from the wise from sheknows article


The Dermatology Group urges our patients to schedule their skin cancer screening examinations.  Early detection – and awareness of how to live “sun smart” are the keys to beating this disease.  Please visit for even more information on how to enjoy the sun without increasing your risk for melanoma.

- Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S.
- One American dies of melanoma every hour
- One in 50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma
- Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29
- If caught in early stages, melanoma has a survival rate of 100%
- The majority of melanoma is caused by UV light and sun exposure
- Tanning beds can increase the risk of developing melanoma by 75%


NJ Top doctors 2014 logoDr. Danny Groisser, Founder and Medical Director of The Dermatology Group has been named a TOP DOCTOR by New Jersey Magazine for the eighth year in a row. The survey polls over 23,000 New Jersey physicians and invites them to give recommendations of the physicians they would choose to treat their own family members. Unlike other doctor polls, there is no “pay to play” element – while you can advertise or “enhance” your listing (neither of which we do), it does not affect your outcome.

While Dr. Groisser is proud to be named a top doctor, he notes "It’s really our team effort approach that puts our group ahead of so many others. We are able to offer so many treatment options and amenities that smaller practices simply can't". He also states that "even though it’s great to be acknowledged by my peers, when I practice medicine, it really comes down to two people in a room – me and my patient". Dr. Groisser, who founded The Dermatology Group in 1992, sees patients in our Nutley and West Orange locations. Congratulations to Dr. Groisser and the entire Derm Group team.


Odds are you’re one of the 10 million people who’ve already viewed “How the Sun Sees You,” a video created by photographer and writer Thomas Leveritt.  It shows the reactions of random New Yorkers who view themselves through the lens of an ultraviolet camera, fitted with filters that allow UV rays to pass through while blocking visible and infrared light.  Suddenly, people found their faces dotted with spots and freckles they haven’t ever seen in the mirror clusters of melanin, a skin pigment that absorbs UV rays.  Understandably, these folks seem a little horrified.   That’s when Leveritt asks them to apply sunscreen and check the camera again. This time, they’re shocked: The sunscreen appears to be completely black. Why black? Sunscreen is designed to absorb UV radiation so that damaging rays don’t reach the skin. It’s absorbing all of the light’s energy, rather than reflecting it. It acts, in other words, like a bulletproof vest for your skin. Our assesment?  WEAR SUNSCREEN!

The Surgeon general's call to action to prevent skin cancer

The Surgeon General issued a lengthy “call to action” yesterday regarding the sharp increase of melanoma, and steps needed to combat this deadly disease.  The Dermatology Group would like to remind all of our patients to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen DAILY (and re-apply every two hours), and schedule routine full body skin screenings.  We have found thousands of “early stage” and “pre-melanoma” lesions through routine screening exams, literally saving lives.  Call 973-571-2121 to schedule your screening today. The report also cites the dangers of tanning salons, and dispels the notion that darker skinned individuals are immune from skin cancer.  From the report:

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and most cases are preventable. Most skin cancers are at least partially caused by UV exposure, so reducing exposure reduces skin cancer risk. However, one out of every three U.S. adults has been sunburned in the past year, and most do not take recommended actions to protect themselves from the sun. In addition, indoor tanning rates are high among some groups, such as young, non-Hispanic white females, and skin cancer incidence rates are increasing. These facts show a need to take action to improve sun protection behaviors and address the harms of indoor tanning.

Individuals can take steps to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer. Sun protection helps prevent the harmful effects of sun exposure, including sunburn, skin cancer, premature skin aging, and eye damage. When used as part of a comprehensive approach, well-tailored, individual-focused strategies may be effective for reaching specific subpopulations.  According to WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, ideal sun protection involves several behaviors, including wearing tightly woven protective clothing, wearing a hat that provides adequate shade to the whole head, seeking shade whenever possible, avoiding outdoor activities during periods of peak sunlight (such as midday), and using sunscreen (in conjunction with other sun protection behaviors).

There are barriers to using sun protection. Many Americans lack a general knowledge or awareness about the risks associated with sun exposure, or they think they are at low risk of developing skin cancer or sunburn. Social norms regarding tanned skin as attractive and healthy create barriers to reducing intentional exposure to UV radiation, whether indoors or outdoors. Intentional tanning, which includes both indoor tanning and seeking a tan outdoors, is strongly associated with a preference for tanned skin and other appearance-focused behaviors. Women in particular may experience greater social pressure to tan and have tanned skin, which likely explains the higher rates of indoor tanning observed among women than men.

Total Beauty loves our two favorite sunscreens

Elizabeth Arden Triple Protection Factor BrArden RX spf 50oad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50+ Lotion. Why You’ll Love It: I’ve seen the horrible, scaryphotos of sun damage, but confession time I’m not a saint when it comes to everyday application. As vain as it sounds, I don’t want my face looking super shiny all day at work or my makeup melting off because of the sunscreen on my face. Thanks to this new Elizabeth Arden sunscreen I can’t make any more excuses. While you do have to go to a physician’s office to get it, the product is a makeup savior –especially for women with oily skin. The lightweight formula applies like a serum and almost feels like a makeup primer. Once I applied my powder and concealer over it, you couldn’t tell I was wearing any SPF at all. I had no extra shine and my makeup stayed on almost longer than when I wear it with nothing underneath. And thanks to the antioxidant complex and DNA enzyme complex I actually feel like I’m doing my skin a little bit of good. 

Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46, $24. Why You’ll Love it: If you’re skin is prone to breakouts, daily facial sunscreen usually doesn’t help matters any. Dermatologists recommend physical sunscreens like this Elta MD one for the soothing properties of zinc oxide and titantium dioxide. Avoid chemical suncreens, which will often lead to more irritation and breakouts. This sunscreen is oil-free and contains high-purity niacinamide to calm not only acne, but also rosacea and other types of discoloration. 

The derm group is on the move…

The dermatology group opens its ninth location in freehold, new jersey! David davidson, pa-c, president of nj dermatology pa society (formerly with family derm). Danny groisser, md, founder and medical director of the dermatology group, 8 time nj top doc recipient.

- Melanoma detection and treatment
- All skin cancers and irregular moles
- Acne, eczema, roseacea
- Warts, rashes, contact dermatitis
- Psoriasis
- Regular skin exams
- Cosmetic dermatology (botox, chemical peels)

The dermatology group is new jersey’s premiere dermatology practice

- Open monday – friday, with early (7:00am )and late (7:00pm) appointments available
- We accept most insurance plans
- Handicapped accessible
- Nurse triage department can answer questions and refill prescriptions by phone
- On-site nationally recognized dermatopathology department
- Leader in groundbreaking clinical trials

The derm group opens ninth new jersey location

Family derm's David S.Davidson to lead new freehold office. The Dermatology Group, New Jersey’s premiere dermatology practice, is proud to open its ninth location in Freehold, NJ.   David S. Davidson, M.S., PA-C, will be the leading provider in the newest office, which is located at 312 Professional View Drive, Freehold, NJ.  Davidson is the President of the New Jersey Dermatology PA Society and brings over 12 years of medical and dermatology experience, most recently with Family Dermatology.  Previously, Davidson practiced with Patricia McCormack Dermatology and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Dr. Daniel Groisser, the founder and Medical Director of The Dermatology Group will be Medical Director of the new location. "We are thrilled to finally bring  Derm Group expertise to central Jersey.  As a longtime shore lover and lifelong NJ resident, I am so proud to be practicing here" Dr. Groisser remarked. "Because we are a comprehensive group, we offer so much more than a typical dermatologist can.  We confer on cases and have resources only available at large hospitals and universities – right within our practice". Davidson treats patients from Colts Neck, Freehold, Old Bridge, Manalapan, Forked River, Jackson, Marlboro, Monroe, Wall Township, Point Pleasant, Sayreville, Howell, Tinton Falls, and even Staten Island.  He treats all conditions of the skin, hair and nails including skin cancer screenings, early melanoma detection,  psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis, acne, warts, roseacea, chemical peels, and Botox. The Dermatology Group’s other locations are: Morristown, West Orange, Verona, Rutherford, Nutley, Paramus, Riverdale and Flanders.  The practice offers general and cosmetic dermatology, plastic surgery, clinical trials, on-side dermatopathology, an aesthetics division and skin care stores.

DR. Groisser featured in star ledger article on melanoma

Don't get burned skin cancer on the rise by Martta Kelly for the star ledger. As summer approaches and people spend more time outdoors, doctors urge them to protect themselves from the sun. Whether heading to the beach or the mountains, working in the garden or taking a leisurely bicycle ride around the park, a good sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, are a must, they say. “Many people don’t really grab how harmful sun exposure can be,” said Janice Mehnert, an oncologist in the melanoma and soft tissue oncology program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick. She added that overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB) is still the number one cause of melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer.

Melanoma has been on the rise for at least 30 years, according to the American Cancer Society. While melanoma accounts for less than 2 percent of skin cancers, it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths. In 2013, more than 75,000 Americans were diagnosed with melanoma and more than 9,000 people died from the disease, according to the ACS. While the risk of melanoma increases with age, recent research illustrates that it is not uncommon to find it in people younger than 30. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found melanoma to be one of the most common cancers in young adults, especially in young women. The study, which identified patients aged 18 to 39 years who had a first lifetime diagnosis of melanoma from 1970 through 2009 in Olmsted County, Minnesota, found that melanoma had increased eight-fold for women and four-fold for men.

Mehnert said she has seen an increase in melanoma in young women, and attributed most of it to the quest for a fashionable tan. Both UVA, the dominant tanning ray, and UVB, the rays that cause the skin to burn, have been implicated in the development of skin cancers. Tanning, regardless of whether it’s done outdoors or in a salon, causes cumulative damage over time, she said. Melanomas can appear anywhere on the skin, including the scalp, but they are most commonly found on the chest and back, legs, neck and face. If you have darker skin, your risk of melanoma occurring at one of these sites is lower but the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, and under your nails are still vulnerable spots, according to the ACS. “If caught early, the vast majority of melanomas are curable,” Mehnert said. “And, although there are more treatment options today than ever before, the later it is caught, the lower one’s chances of survival.” Once cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body, it is more difficult to treat, she said.

One Approved Therapy

The standard treatment for melanoma is immunotherapy, Mehnert said, adding that currently, the only FDA-approved immunotherapy drug is interferon, which can have side effects, the most common ones being fatigue, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, nausea and a metallic taste in the mouth. Clinical trials are also an option. “In the past seven years, there have been major studies and three or four major melanoma therapies have resulted,” she said. “It’s very encouraging.” Daniel Groisser, medical director at both the Dermatology Group in West Orange and Live Sun Smart, a locally based melanoma awareness organization, recommends yearly full-body checks by a dermatologist for people age 20 and older, more frequently for those in high-risk categories.

The characteristics that doctors look for when examining a patient for moles are:
- A for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
- B for Border: The edges are irregular or ragged.
- C for Color: The color is not uniform and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white or blue.
- D for Diameter: The spot is greater than 1 centimeter across (about the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be even smaller.

If a mole looks suspicious, he said, it is removed and sent to be tested. “The biopsy will confirm whether it’s dysplastic, meaning atypical, or an actual melanoma.” Most dysplastic moles do not become cancerous, he said, but people who have them are at a higher risk for developing melanoma. People with a history of dysplastic moles, he said, need to be diligent about regular skin screenings. He recommends wearing a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, as well as protective clothing, hats and sunglasses. If you are fair-skinned, with blonde or red hair, blue or green eyes, and freckles, you should limit sun exposure as much as possible.

Other risk factors

In addition to sun exposure, other risk factors for melanoma, according to Groisser, include having had multiple sunburns as a child, especially blistering ones, environmental factors and certain medical conditions or drugs that make skin more sensitive to the sun or suppress the immune system. There is also a hereditary component. “It’s important to know your family history as it pertains to skin cancer,” Mehnert said, “especially immediate family members. This way, family members can get screened as well. For families with a strong predisposition to melanoma, there is genetic counseling and registries where by signing up, they can learn about new research and treatments.”

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