Just when we thought it was okay to consider spray tans as alternatives to indoor and outdoor tanning a new report says there could be harmful chemicals contained within the products. According to recent local news story the active chemical in spray tans could be instrumental in causing genetic changes and DNA damage, experts say. The chemical is the active ingredient that turns the skin brown. Potential risks were written and displayed in 10 lab studies, which were obtained by ABC News. Please note that these tests were not conducted on human subjects. The studies showed that although the FDA claims the chemical is not advised to be inhaled or ingested, these rules are not enforced in salons. The chemical, called DHA, is only approved for external use. Dr. Lynn Goldman, the dean of George Washington University’s School of Public Health says DHA is showing up in the respiratory system, and spray tanners should be advised and alert about the potential of lung cancer. She says the whole practice further investigation. Patients considering plastic surgery are advised not to tan their skin prior to surgery. This includes not only facial procedures like facelift but also breast augmentation and liposuction. It is not in the best interest of the patient or the patient experience for patients to have surgery when the skin is damaged or possibly sunburned. Patients should avoid tanning after surgery as well. This is especially important for skin that is bruised or new scars. The risk of darkening the scar permanently is greatly increased with exposure to the sun. The skin can also darken unevenly after sun exposure on bruised skin following surgery. Dr. Kim advises patients to avoid tanning always, but definitely 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. For the first year patients should be sure to put sunscreen on all new scars.