Skin care professionals and dermatology experts alike have been warning about the damaging effects of sun tanning for decades.
Then tanning beds came along, but the health risks remained.
Spray tanning may have led millions to believe that, finally, a safe way to get a tan had come along.
But scientists’ latest research dive into spray tanning shows that while the process may prevent skin cancer, it can be very harmful in other ways.
Dihydroxyacetone, also known as DHA, is the main ingredient in the spray tan solution and has been shown to worsen health conditions such as asthma and COPD. DHA is also a problem because the chemical can get absorbed in the bloodstream.
Lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Panettieri, points out that lung cancer could be a potential spray tan side effect because "The lungs have a huge surface area, so this compound gets into cells and gets absorbed into the bloodstream."
Furthermore, recent cell-level laboratory testing shows that DHA can alter the structure of DNA, resulting in potentially dangerous mutations.
Dr. Lynn Goldman of George Washington University warns "The substance seems to have a potential for what they call creating mutations or changing DNA in living cells, which is a serious problem and needs to be further investigated, yet hasn’t been. “
Goldman goes on to say that the tanning part of the spray tan is not what health professionals are concerned about, rather "What we’re concerned about is not so much that reaction that creates the tanning, but reactions that may occur deeper down with living cells that might then change DNA, causing a mutation and what the possible impacts of that might be.”
Dr. Goldman also supports the claim that lung cancer is a real potential risk of the spray tanning process, and one the he is personally worried about.
Still, people assume the spray tan is safe because of the lack of UVA and UVB exposure.
Even mother Lauren Jackson, who enters her two-year-old daughter in beauty pageants, has her daughter Savanna spray-tanned monthly.
Lauren says that they started noticing other girls at the pageants with a bronze look and quickly got into the habit themselves.
And Lauren seems to have no health concerns at all about the spray tanning, saying, "I just want her to have the best possible opportunity to win. Besides, Savanna loves it. Now, it's a must for every pageant."
Panettieri points out that the highest risk of serious health problems is for those who frequently visit the spray tan salon.
To learn more about this and other skin issues talk to a dermatologist in your area.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.