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In this column, Team IST presents a pragmatic response to the oftentimes one-sided or fact-bending positions and opinions against indoor tanning that are printed and posted by various media. We encourage you to share this information with your salon guests and potential customers when they have questions about this type of anti-tanning media coverage.
This month, we offer a “did you know?” type of enlightenment on a subject I recently encountered. Without doing an internet search, do you know what “Toasted Skin Syndrome” is? When I came across this term, it immediately grabbed my attention. I assumed that the article was referencing the evils of indoor tanning, maybe suggesting that tanning facility operators are enticing young teens to tan indoors. I had visions of salon staff standing at their doors with big bowls of Halloween candy … but I digress.
No, this article was not about indoor tanning at all. Apparently, “Toasted Skin Syndrome” occurs when the skin is exposed to a heat source over an extended period of time. What typical causes have been identified? Well, the most significant one appears to be laptop computers! Yes, they’re talking about those confounded machines that seem to be permanently attached to our bodies. Typically, young folks sit for hours on end with a laptop perched on their thighs – you know, catching up on social media with Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat can be very time-consuming. Well, the heat that radiates from the computer’s battery and fan (usually on the left side of the machine) contacts and warms the skin and may even be warm enough to cause reddening. It can even lead to development of squamous cell carcinoma. EGADS! From a laptop!
So, what is the remedy for TSS? Well, leading health professionals suggest removing the heat source from the skin and in this case, relocating one’s “workspace.” Are we that obtuse that someone needs to tell us that if our skin is getting too hot or red from something, we might consider moving it? OMG. What’s next: instructions on what to do when we’re hungry? Consider eating something. What to do when we’re tired? Consider sleeping. What if we’re thirsty? Go hydrate. Which leads to the venerable “doctor” joke: Guy goes to see his doctor and says, “Hey doc, when I make this motion with my arm, it hurts. Can you help me?” The doctor answers, “Yes. Stop making that motion with your arm!” I rest my case.
As we stagger wearily down the path to close out this crazy year 2020, we hope that you’ve enjoyed the Watchdog articles and found them valuable. If you read a story online, in a magazine (or anywhere else) that seems false or misleading and is shouting out for a response from Yours Truly, shoot me an email for coverage consideration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to share our “Watchdog” articles with your salon guests and potential customers when they have questions about anti-tanning media coverage.
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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