The effect of sunless tanning on behavior in the sun: A pilot study

Daniel J. Sheehan, Jack L. Lesher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: In the United States, indoor tanning is a booming industry and contributes to the ultraviolet light (UVL) burden that ultimately leads to skin cancer. "Sunless" tanning methods that avoid UVL exposure may represent a safe alternative. However, the effects of sunless tanning methods on ultraviolet light-related behaviors have never been investigated. Methods: Anonymous survey of 121 individuals who underwent a spray-on sunless tanning treatment between February and May 2004. Results: Women completed 107 surveys. Men completed 14 surveys. The majority of individuals reported that they had not or would not change their time spent outdoors or their sunscreen use as a result of undergoing sunless tanning. However, 73% of individuals who had used UVL tanning beds said they had decreased or would decrease their UVL tanning bed use. Conclusion: Sunless tanning is associated with a self-reported decrease in traditional UVL tanning bed use among tanning bed users. Physicians should advocate the use of sunless tanning to their patients who use traditional UVL tanning beds as a means of decreasing their UVL exposure and cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1195
Number of pages4
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Dihydroxyacetone
  • Sunless tanning
  • Tanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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