Local News

Get A Healthy, Safe Tan With The Help Of An Airbrush

Posted May 22, 2002

— Studies show one out of every six Americans gets skin cancer, but there is a way you can get an easy, safe tan with an airbrush.

Despite the risks, most people still think summer equals suntan.

To try and keep patients from sunbathing or using tanning beds, Raleigh dermatologist Dr. Audrey Echt decided to offer something fairly new -- airbrush tanning. This new technique uses the same chemical in sunless tanners.

"After being down here in the South a couple of years, I realized that everyone wants a tan," she said. "I felt that this was a nice alternative to have that tan look and not the skin-damaging rays."

The airbrush is hooked to a condensor, which evenly sprays the tanning solution on. It causes a chemical reaction on the skin, which produces a tan. In about 20 minutes, you can cover the entire body.

Tracy Monahan said she looks like she spent the day at the beach.

"I can't believe the results," she said.

The "healthy" glow lasts about a week to 10 days.

"It depends on how much you work out, sweat, how many showers a day you take," Echt said.

Treatments cost between $15 to $25 a session. For Monahan, she said it is worth it. She has the tan she wants without the risk of skin cancer or wrinkles.

"I think I'm just going to have to tell everyone I've been at the islands for a week," she said.

For the best tanning results, the doctor recommends exfoliating your skin beforehand and be sure not to wear deodorants, perfumes or lotions. They can cause the tan to be uneven.

Sunless tans do not protect your skin when you do get out in the sun.

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