About the New Tan Tax
Rhiannon and Jeanine sit down to talk about how summer effects skin, indoor tanning, tattoos and more
About the New Tan Tax
Rhiannon Ally: Welcome back to Better! We have dermatologist Dr.
Downie joining us today to talk about our hot topics and
we’ve got some really interesting ones today, Dr. Downie.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: I think so.
Rhiannon Ally: Yeah. Okay, first of all, there are photos all over the
internet. If you haven’t seen these, you have to Google it,
of Michael Jackson’s kids on vacation in Hawaii and there's
one picture in particular that’s really interesting, it shows
his 13 year old son Prince with what looks to be some type
of skin condition on his arm. And so, a lot of people are
questioning, is it vitiligo or was it something else? Was it
sunburn? You’ve seen the pictures. What do you think?
Dr. Jeanine Downie: I have to be honest with you. I've never examined Prince.
He’s not my patient. I'm a huge Michael Jackson fan but
unfortunately, it does look like it might be vitiligo.
Rhiannon Ally: Michael Jackson actually had vitiligo.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: But we are not sure if he actually had it or not to be honest
with you because I never examined him. That was the
theory that we have. And so, vitiligo is something that’s
heritable. So, that would be very unfortunate. So, I hope
that that’s not it and that it was something else or the
picture of that was retouched or something. I mean we just
don’t know. But I think that study show that I need to go to
Hawaii and check.
Rhiannon Ally: Yeah. Let’s go together and we can do some research on
that one. It is an interesting but you’re right. The photos are
retouched; that is a possibility. You can’t believe
everything you see online.
Another picture I found was Miley Cyrus and she has a
new tattoo on the inside of her ear right there. It says
Dr. Jeanine Downie: Oh, it’s her seven old year daughter who loves her.
Rhiannon Ally: Yeah, I know.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: She's such a role model. This is how I feel about tattoos.
First of all, in the ear, it’s super painful. It can get infected.
It could lead to swelling. It could lead to all kinds of other
issues for months. But the newest thing with tattoos is not
only are people getting hepatitis and rare but reported cases
of HIV but now, they are getting mycobacterium. So, a
mycobacterium is like -- tuberculosis is a type of
mycobacterium. So, it’s called mycobacterium colony
that’s coming up in tattoos. So, this is something where --
Rhiannon Ally: So, this is new.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: This is something new where the vat of ink is reused. So, if
the first person of the day has mycobacterium and the
needle is dipped and re-dipped in there, the blood from
what they are tattooing on that comes off in the ink and
then they reuse that ink with the next person because it’s a
vat of blue ink, so they are not tossing the ink although they
have to use new needles. And that’s how they can spread
disease. Not all tattoo parlors do this but in general, I'm
Rhiannon Ally: I didn’t realize that.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: I’ll put on something that’s like one of those beautiful
tattoos, the hennas that a lot of the people in the Indian
culture use. That way, it fades off in six weeks. Six weeks
is your typical time for tattoo regret.
Rhiannon Ally: Six weeks.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: Six weeks later people are like “Oh no.”
Rhiannon Ally: Yeah. But that’s interesting that that’s happening and
people don’t even realize it. You said that that is especially
sensitive. Are there areas that are maybe a little bit better or
worst? Or is it just bad altogether?
Dr. Jeanine Downie: It’s bad altogether but I mean, unfortunately, I've seen them
in the ears, I've seen them on the genitals.
Rhiannon Ally: I've seen along the lip.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: I’ve seen them on the inside of the lip and one on the
tongue. Come on.
Rhiannon Ally: Ouch, yeah.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: Yeah.
Rhiannon Ally: Okay, that doesn’t seem like a great idea. But another
thing, a couple of weeks ago, the new tan tax actually went
into effect and that’s a 10% surcharge.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: July 1st.
Rhiannon Ally: That just went into effect and it’s interesting because some
people are now saying it’s discrimination because they say,
mostly white people are the ones that go to the tanning beds
but you disagree, you say that’s not true.
Dr. Jeanine Downie: Well, first of all, the tan tax, the reason that they're doing
this is because the ultraviolet rays in the tanning beds are
12 to 15 times the natural sunlight. So, people that are
going in there are exposing themselves to skin cancers
especially melanomas. They have 35% higher rate of
getting melanomas and skin cancers. Two, a lot of African-
Americans, Latinos and Asians use tanning beds; it’s not
just Caucasians. It’s not discriminatory. It should stay and
it should be 50%.
Rhiannon Ally: Thanks Dr. Downie as always. We’ll be right back.
About the New Tan Tax
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