Spotlight Series #19 | Dr. Janet Prystowsky NYC’s TOP Dermatologist

Hey there my lovelies,

Welcome back to my Blog!

drp-high-res-optimizedFor today’s post I was contacted by VEW Media asking whether I would be interested to hold an interview with Dr. Janet Prystowsky NYC’s TOP Dermatologist who specialises on many of the trending ways people can improve their overall skincare.

So my inquisitive mind started wondering on the things I wanted to know … and I came up a couple of questions on a topic that got me curious.   In all fairness one of the subject is not a common practice here in Malta (tanning beds) but on the other hand spray tan is so if you are interested keep on reading.

Are tanning beds still used in 2019?

Yes, tanning beds are still in use.  In some US states, parental permission is required whereas in others, minors are not allowed at all.   In 2014, the United States FDA reclassified tanning devices to a class II device which means they must be controlled by and regulated by greater safety controls.  The FDA recommends they not be used on people under 18 years old.  The U.S. Surgeon general has also recommended that tanning devices be prohibited for people under 18 years old citing increased skin cancer risks associated with their use.  As early as 2009, the World Health Organisation increased the classification of UV tanning devices to the highest level cancer risk- i.e Group I which means it is “carcinogenic to humans”. [Definition. A carcinogen is a substance that causes cancer (or is believed to cause cancer). A carcinogenic material is one that is known to cause cancer. The process of forming cancer cells from normal cells or carcinomas is called carcinogenesis.]

If yes, what is the percentage of people that use tanning beds?

Approximately 9 million Americans use indoor tanning every year and over 13% of them are high school students.

Are tanning beds harmful? 

Yes, tanning beds are harmful because the high doses of ultraviolet A (UVA) delivered to the skin greatly increase your chances of skin cancer, and in particular melanoma which can be deadly.  The dose of UVA delivered from tanning beds is 5 to 15 times higher than midday sun on a Mediterranean beach in the summer!

Can one get Cancer from tanning beds?

Yes, use of tanning beds has been shown to greatly increase risk of skin cancer. A CDC cohort study of over 61 million youths estimates that by preventing indoor tanning by minors under 18 would prevent 61,839 cases of melanoma, prevent 6,725 melanoma deaths over the group’s lifetime.  If you are under 35 years old and use an indoor tanning device, research shows that your melanoma risk increases 59%, squamous cell carcinoma risk increases 67% and basal cell carcinoma risk increases by 29%.  In women under the age of 30 that used an indoor tanning device, a study showed a 6-fold increase in melanoma risk.

How about spray tan? is this harmful to the skin?  

Spray tans contain Dihydroxyacetone that causes the skin to look tan.  This chemical has been shown to carcinogenic to respiratory epithelial cells.  While thought not to be absorbed into the living cells in the skin, and therefore presumed to be safe, it is not clear and some of it may be getting into your skin cells and cause damage.

Is spray tanning toxic?

Inhalation of the spray tan or slowing to get into the eye or nose or mouth has been associated with headaches, nausea, and dizziness.  But long term risk of cancer would be my main concern.

Are spray tans worth the money? 

Personally I would never get a spray tan so any amount of money for me would be too much.  But, I occasionally use a topical cream self-tanner made by Avene to even out my feet color for I when wear sandals but that is the extent of my use of dihidroxy acetone.  I just do not think it is worth the risk to treat your whole skin surface with a chemical that may have risks that we have not studied enough yet.

With the awareness being made to avoid long hours in the some without the proper UV protection do you think that tanning beds or spray tans will become more of the obvious choice if you want a tan?

For someone committed to having to look tanned, the spray tans are likely safer than tanning beds as long as you protect your airway, mouth, nose and eyes from coming into contact with the spray.  This may be hard to do if you are hoping to have your face look tan.

What are your thoughts my loves?  I have personally done spray tanning, and I do so on special occasions if I feel like I wish to look tanned because I do not like staying in the sun for a very long time during the summer.  I have to say that I did not experience any discomfort whatsoever.

Until next time,

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