Spray tans are great – Just don’t inhale

Categories: BLOG

photo courtesy of spraytanningtips.com

Tanning booths are a known source of deadly, potent cancer causing UV damage. I commend my patients when they give up the tanning booth and try spray tanning instead. However, new research shows that inhaling spray tan chemicals may also pose a danger to one’s health.

The UK’s Daily Mail (6/13, Bates, Borland) reports, “Spray tans, used by many as a safer alternative to sunbeds, may create serious health problems including cancer, scientists warned last night.”  “Those seeking a bronzed skin tone without exposing themselves to harmful radiation could instead be at risk from the main ingredient in sprays, which is potentially harmful if inhaled. The substance – known as dihydroxyacetone, or DHA – enters the lungs and is then absorbed into the bloodstream where it could damage DNA and cause tumours,” according to Lynn Goldman, MD, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University.

So, the main message that I want to impart to my patients:

  • Continue to avoid tanning booths
  • When getting a spray tan, hold your breath during the 30 seconds when they are spraying near your face and upper body

With these simple tips, you can achieve the bronzed beautiful glow safely.

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