Self- Tanning: A Practical Alternative to Sun Bathing

Summer is a time to have fun in the sun and work on the tan you have been dreaming of since the winter. However, sun tanning can cause skin cancer, premature aging, cataracts and painful burns. If you’re concerned about the safest way of tanning, a practical alternative to sun bathing can be self- tanning.

Self-tanning products are available as lotions, creams, sprays, and in towelette or wipe form. These products contain a chemical called dihydroxyacThinkstockPhotos-179035045etone (DHA), a color additive that darkens the skin. Concentrations of DHA used in sunless tanning preparations are considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. These products can typically contain between three and five percent of DHA. When used properly, DHA is considered safe. Most dermatologists agree that the spray-on tans or the tans in a bottle, which basically causes coloration of the outer layer of the epidermis, are safe and effective.  As with anything, spray tanning can be used moderately and not habitually.

If you have considered self-tanning, follow the package directions and protect your eyes, mouth and nose when spray tanning to avoid inhaling the product. The browning effect occurs within a few hours and is temporary- your faux color fades in seven to ten days as the skin naturally sloughs off.

Whichever choice you decide, make sure to take precaution either way and enjoy all the summer time has to offer.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.