Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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The dangers of spray tans

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TWC News: The dangers of spray tans
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Even when summer ends, many people may still want to keep that golden tan, but doctors say to err on the side of caution when dealing with artificial spray tans.

According to plastic surgeon Jennifer Walden, too much of a good thing can potentially be dangerous.

“Recent studies have found that the active ingredient in the spray tanning material, called DHA,” Dr. Walden said. “Some cell studies, not animal studies, have shown to be problematic or damaging to skin cells.”

DHA is the stuff that makes you turn brown after spray tanning or applying products with self tanners.

“It (DHA) basically stains the superficial layer of the skin,” Dr. Walden said.

But Dr Walden says it can penetrate deeper, which is reason for the concern.

“Potentially, the problem would be if it gets in the eyes, if it's inhaled, or if it gets on the mucus membranes on the lips,” she said. “That could be systemically absorbed.”

Dr. Walden says spray tanning is still the safest alternative to sun bathing, but don't get carried away, tanners that contain DHA should be used sparingly.

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