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Last month, we covered how the media attempts (and very successfully, I might add) to contour our news. From sex, to politics, sports, gas shortages, the weather (why do they tell me on sunny days when the next rain will come my way?) and more. Of course, any opportunity to slam the tanning industry will usually be taken with gusto. This month’s case in point: during a recent trip to enjoy Myrtle Beach, SC with some friends, I uncovered this nugget of wisdom. Apparently, derms will go to great lengths to dissuade folks from indoor tanning … even by going to the toilet.
This one, Dr. Dawn Davis, throws this parallel – comparing tanning beds to toilet seats.
In a Post-Bulletin.com article entitled, “ Health Fusion with Viv Williams,” Dr. Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, says there are other risks with indoor tanning, including the risk of contracting an infection from a clean sunbed.
“We all have microbes on our body,” says Davis. “And even if you clean the tanning bed as best you can, it’s very difficult to keep it optimally clean. Some microbes may be left behind, and if they can survive the environment of being heated, they may become resistant microbes.” Davis says she tries to convince her patients that lying on a tanning bed is similar to lying on a sink or toilet seat. Those objects may be cleaned, but there’s still a chance that some germs remain and could potentially cause an infection.
The FDA has regulated our industry (almost since inception) with standards as stated in 21CFR1040.20. However, the sanitization of sunbeds typically is covered by state and/or local regulations. Clearly, even pre-COVID, this topic is covered explicitly in our Sun is Life® Salon Operator Certification program. Sunbed sanitization is a high priority at all professional salons. Although it should never be left solely up to the tanner to clean a sunbed prior to their session, some still will ask if they can clean it, as well. Just remember that ultimately, the salon is responsible for hygiene and sanitation at their facility. All surfaces that could come in contact with the salon guest’s skin should be sanitized including doors, door knobs, control knobs, seats, sunbed pillows, etc. Pay close attention to not only the sunbed bench, but the canopy acrylic shield, as well, and the sunbed’s outer surface.
But this derm goes to great lengths to call out that … “lying on a tanning bed is similar to lying on … a toilet seat.” I actually listened to the whole segment with Dr. D. She also goes on to cover the “dopamine effect” that a warm sunbed will provide on a cold day, almost like a tanning session will cast a tanner into a trance. She suggests snuggling up with a blanket around a fireplace. I kid you not.
If you want to “kick the tires” on this “news” clip, read more at: postbulletin.com/newsmd/wellness/7023570-Health-Fusion-Tanning-beds-and-toilet-seats
Until next month, stay safe and clean!
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
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