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Ask A Doctor | Your family's health questions answered

Are spray tanning booths safe?

A fake tan is a much safer choice than the real thing.

By Sally Wadyka Oct 4, 2013 1:12PM
Turn to MSN's Ask A Doctor blog every day to find answers from top experts to all of your health concerns.
If you can’t live without a sunny glow, opting for a spray-on tan is definitely your best and safest alternative.
Tom Merton/Getty Images
“Spray tanning booths are safe and FDA approved,” says Jeffrey Benabio, MD, board-certified dermatologist and Physician Director of health Care Transformation at Kaiser Permanent in San Diego. “Despite recent media reports about them being unsafe, there are, at this time, no studies to support such claims.”

However, you do want to be careful not to inhale the spray while you’re in the booth, and you should wear protective covering over your eyes. “And don’t go out in the sun directly after getting a spray tan because it can alter the color of the skin,” he says.

Tanning beds that use UV light are definitely not a safe choice. The World Health Organization has classified the UV light used in these devices as a carcinogen. And according to the American Academy of Dermatology, people who use tanning beds have a 75 percent increased risk of the deadly skin cancer melanoma. 
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10Comments
Oct 8, 2013 4:44PM
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Seriously MSN, please stop with the automatic video ads that we cannot mute!
Oct 8, 2013 4:33PM
Oct 8, 2013 4:30PM
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It's too bad the girl in that video's obsession isn't exercise instead of tanning.
Oct 8, 2013 4:29PM
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looks so ridiculous.

sooooo f'in' ridiculous.

Oct 8, 2013 4:45PM
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The way that those booths are designed, you have a couple of seconds between sprays to turn this way or that.  You can hold your breath for 30 seconds while it sprays you, if you must do it.  If I choose to spray tan (I can't get out in the sun - I burn too easily, and am white as a sheet), I just grab a bottle of Neutrogena spray tan, and do it in an open room.   
Oct 8, 2013 5:39PM
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Spray tanning is dangerous . It makes you stupid and do stupid things .
Just ask John Boehnr .

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