The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Position

Potential Safety Concerns of DHA

New York, NY (June 12, 2012) – There is no clear evidence that DHA is harmful to humans if applied topically and used as directed. Although it temporarily adheres to the skin, DHA eventually dislodges as the skin cells shed. The Skin Cancer Foundation bases all of its conclusions on medical studies with human subjects and there are no human medical studies that give us reason to believe that DHA penetrates the skin.

Furthermore, The Skin Cancer Foundation considers tanning to be out of style and obsolete as a lifestyle. In fact, the Foundation’s Go With Your Own Glow campaign was developed to encourage women to embrace – and protect-- their natural skin tone, whatever its hue. However, for people who feel the need for bronzed skin, the Foundation maintains that spray tanning and self tanners are still safer than UV radiation exposure obtained outdoors or in a tanning bed. For those who get spray tans, it is important to wear protective gear for the mouth, eyes and nose to prevent ingestion or inhalation, and to protect mucous membranes.

Steven Q. Wang, MD

Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Member, The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee
Secretary, Nanodermatology Society


About The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. For more information, visit