Miss Illinois Got Cancer At 18 Years Old, And Is Now Warning Others About UV Manicures

Gel manicures have been the go-to way for us to keep our nails in check for the past few years. Before that, it was all done the old-fashioned way, with acrylics and nail polish. You can even purchase your very own UV nail kit so you can get a perfect mani without leaving the house. While it may seem like the best thing since sliced bread, Miss Illinois has warned that it's not all as great as it seems. According to Buzzfeed, Karolina Jasko fought and conquered melanoma when she was just 18 years old.

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Karolina's cancer was discovered during a manicure when the nail tech spotted a black line on her right thumbnail. Concerned, the teen made an appointment with her doctor. After testing, it was confirmed that she had melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Luckily for Karolina and her family, the surgeons were able to remove it all by taking away her entire nail matrix. Now, she is left with a nail-less thumb, but it's a small price to pay. If the cancer wasn’t spotted when it was, it could've been an entirely different story.

Doctors told the future, Miss Illinois, that the cancer was most likely genetic, but that her frequent UV manicures could've accelerated its growth. Like many of us, Karolina had been getting her nails done for years before the illness was spotted. Doctors took skin from her groin area to graft onto her thumb, as well as taking biopsies from her chest, leaving her with scars that made her self-conscious. Several spots across her body were also removed as a precaution.

Jasko spent the next couple of years feeling embarrassed and trying to hide her thumb with a Band-Aid, scared that people would find it off-putting. Thankfully, her Miss Illinois achievement has given her the confidence to use her platform to educate others about the dangers of gel manicures.

karolina jasko
Credit: Instagram / karolinajasko

Most of us know the risks of tanning beds and too much sun exposure, but don't realize something as simple as getting your nails done can also be dangerous. Karolina's experience - albeit a nasty one for her - is spreading much-needed awareness on the subject.

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