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June 1994

Inadvertent Phototoxicity From Home Tanning Equipment

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 5323 Harry Hines Blvd Dallas, TX 75235

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(6):804-806. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690060142028

Despite increasing publicity about the harmful effects of UV radiation, outdoor sun exposure and the use of manufactured phototubes for cosmetic purposes remain popular. To help clients achieve their goal of increased pigmentation, ''tanning salons,'' health and fitness clubs, and even hair salons now provide highintensity tanning units that emit substantial fluxes of UV radiation, primarily within the UV-A spectrum (320 to 400 nm). Similar units are also available for home use. These UV-A tanning units are currently promoted as safe with respect to carcinogenesis because they emit relatively small fluxes of UV-B radiation (290 to 320 nm). The point of this communication is not to debate this assertion or the contribution of UV-A radiation to premature skin aging; rather, it is to document an important, disabling, and inevitable toxic effect of high intensity UV-A exposure. Our patient developed a severe phototoxic reaction when a single dose of the relatively

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