We Are Sunshine

HEADLINE STORY: More tanning facilities today have clients who tan to treat skin conditions

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

AUG. 25, 2009 — Significantly more tanning facilities today say they have clients who tan to treat skin conditions than 15 years ago, according to a poll conducted in August.

2009-08-25-tanning-therapy-copy.jpgMore than 9 out of 10 salons today — 92 percent — say they have clients who tan informally to treat psoriasis and/or other skin conditions, according to the poll. That’s 22 percentage points higher than the 70 percent who said they had clients who tanned to treat skin conditions in a 1994 Smart Tan survey.

Dermatologists often treat skin conditions with a service known as phototherapy — which uses indoor tanning equipment in dermatology clinics at 10-20 times the price of an indoor tanning session. Many doctors who don’t offer phototherapy services often refer clients to tanning facilities to treat skin disorders informally. Indeed, Smart Tan surveys have shown that 70 percent of salons know that they have clients who were referred to them by doctors for this reason.

“There are many reasons people go to tanning facilities,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “It’s not always about the cosmetic tan. We know there are many clients tanning for physiological reasons — from vitamin D production to treating skin conditions — as well as clients who tan for the psychological boost gained through regular UV exposure.”

Smart Tan trains salon employees to follow the same protocol designed for cosmetic tanning for all their clients, regardless of whether or not they are tanning for medical reasons.