Fake-Tan Lotions Influence Women To Stop Exposure To UV
December 20, 2011

Fake-Tan Lotions Influence Women To Stop Exposure To UV

According to a new study, 40 percent of women who use fake-tan lotions tend to cut back on the time they expose themselves in the sun.

The study found that products may be a way to convince women seeking a tan to reduce ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure, thus reducing their risk of skin cancer.

"The message I give is, your natural skin color is where you were born to be, but if you really want to be tan get it out of a bottle," Suephy Chen, a dermatologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, told Reuters. "Getting a tan out of a bottle is incredibly safe, whereas getting tanned from tanning beds and lying out is not."

The team surveyed 415 women living in or around the Emory University campus who were between the ages 18 to 71, with an average age of 26.

They asked the participants how often they tanned outside or in tanning beds, or used fake-tan lotions.

About half of the respondents said they had used sunless tanning lotions, gels or spray-ons in the past year, while at least 70 percent reported tanning in the sun.  A quarter of the respondents said they had recently used a tanning bed.

While women who used tanning products said they were also more likely to seek other types of tans, about 40 percent said they had decreased their sun exposure or tanning bed use.

The researchers said that the top reasons for using sunless tanning products was safety and to avoid wrinkles.

They found that about 93 percent of the women said they believe tanned skin is more attractive than pale skin.  They also said that about 79 percent of the respondents said they felt better about themselves when tan.

The World Health Organization said two years ago that tanning beds were in the top cancer risk category and are "carcinogenic to humans."

The U.S. National Cancer Institute believes that there were over a million new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in 2010 in the U.S. and less than 1,000 deaths.  The institute also said that 2011 was expected to see about 70,000 new cases and close to 9,000 deaths.

The research was published in the December 19 online edition of the Archives of Dermatology.


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