Just last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed order that, if finalized, would reclassify ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices as moderate risk devices (class II). The proposed order also requires warning labels on the devices and in related promotional material, alerting young people to the dangers associated with their use.
“Tanning beds are currently regulated by the FDA as class I medical devices, the same designation given elastic bandages and tongue depressors. Yet studies offer dramatic evidence that indoor tanning bed use increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Just one indoor UV tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent. Alarmingly, those who begin tanning before age 35 increase their risk by almost 75 percent.” –Skin Cancer Foundation Statement May 6, 2013
From the Desk of Dr. Asarch…
Tanning is what you do to leather.
You Age Your Own Skin Every Day
Before you turn back the clock, stop pushing it forward. Nothing will make your skin as beautiful as not destroying it in the first place…Unfortunately, while you enjoy the warmth of the sun, it causes DNA mutations to your skin. Your skin tans only as a means to protect itself from further injury.
On your face, sun damage leaves deep wrinkles, freckles, brown spots, and superficial blood vessels. Your skin actually becomes thinner and loses its elasticity.
The ultraviolet rays that affect the skin are both the shorter UVB rays and the longer UVA rays. UVB are the rays that cause sunburns. Years of accumulated UVB damage can cause the skin to develop precancerous lesions and ultimately skin cancers.
UVA rays cause aging by penetrating deeper into the skin, breaking down the skin’s supporting structure, elastin and collagen.
Both UVA and UVB rays have been implicated in the development of melanomas. The sun also emits a very harmful third type of ray, UVC, which is filtered out by the ozone layers. If the ozone continues to thin, we may experience more effects from UVC.
You have heard the dire warnings about the sun, but even after the skin cancer hype of the last few years, many people still want a dark tan, or at least “a little color.” They trade the instant gratification of today’s tan for wrinkles and perhaps cancer in the future.
Remember, your skin tans only because it is injured. Think of that the next time you see a “healthy” tan. Does the skin on fried chicken look healthy?
The Secret to Gorgeous, Healthy Skin: Stop Hurting It!
Those of us over 25 have done most of the damage already. In fact, almost 80% of our total lifetime sun exposure occurs by age 18! However, we can keep it from getting worse with simple, free ways to prevent wrinkles and minimize aging.
Whatever beauty you get from lying in the sun, remember that it has a price: Aging. It can start in your early 20s and lead to wrinkled, damaged skin all over your body, getting worse as the years pass.
The Sun Causes 90% of “Aging” Skin.
Even a little bit of sun hurts. Sun damage accumulates over your life. A small dose every day, every week or just every summer makes the overall damage much greater.
Some people who like to have a tan decide at a young age that they will have plastic surgery later in their lives. As a dermatologist who has treated thousands of skin cancers and performed countless cosmetic procedures, I guarantee that no matter what you do to your skin, it will be healthier and more attractive if you stay out of the sun now. Continuing to expose yourself to ultraviolet light (including tanning beds) will reverse the benefits of any cosmetic skin procedure you have done.
What About “Safe” Tanning in a Salon?
Many tanning salons claim that they give you a safe tan.
Bad news: There is no safe tanning. Indoor tanning salons predominantly use UVA radiation. Although not as potent as UVB, UVA also has both short-term and long-term effects.
Besides aging your skin, tanning booths have been linked with skin cancers including melanoma and squamous cell carcinomas. .
If You Must Have a Tan, How About a Sunless One?
Go to a Professional
At DermaSpa, Get a sun-kissed glow and follow Dr.’s orders! Protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays by staying indoors and getting the perfect tan in just a few minutes with SunFx Sunless Tanner. Made with the purest form of DHA to darken the outer layer of the skin, this all natural solution produces a rich, natural looking tan without chemicals, preservatives, parabens or perfumes. Sunless Tanners do not provide protection from UV damage. Be sure to use DermaSpaRx Sun Protection System every time you are out in the sun to keep your newly bronzed skin protected from UV damage.
Try It Yourself
Despite all of us nagging doctors, people still like a tan. If you find you just can’t live with the pale look, get a safe tan in a bottle from your local pharmacy or department store.
Self-tanning products contain a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a skin dye made from sugar. The FDA has approved it as a colorant. Manufacturers have used it safely for over 30 years. Recently, a second agent, Erythrulose, has been shown to complement DHA, producing a more even and bronze-looking tan.
DHA and Erythrulose appear to color just the upper layer of skin. Proteins in the skin actually react with it to form melanoids, colored substances that resemble melanin (the natural substance in skin that gives it its color). DHA and Erythrulose stick only to the outer layer of cells, so color fades as skin sheds.
Applying a sunless tan takes a little practice and patience. Scrub your skin lightly with a loofah or washcloth to wash away dead skin cells. Dry and then apply the self-tanning lotion in even strokes on the areas where you want some color. Be a little more sparing on bony areas, like elbows, knees and ankles. Use the palm of your hand rather than fingertips to apply the lotion. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards so your palms don’t “tan.”
Getting the color you want may take several applications. DHA products need about three hours to show the full effect of each application. Since the effects of Erythulose take to 6 to 8 hours, wait before reapplying the cream. It takes 30 minutes for the lotion to dry.
Your tan will last, but you must reapply the tanning lotion every few days. Although it may be a little time consuming, sunless tanning is the only healthful way to have that “healthy” look. And it takes much less time than lying out in the sun.