Coca-Cola is the new tanning oil

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(WTNH) — After seeing a couple of U.K. stars using the soda to tan, others have begun to do so as well.

Doctor Mona Gohara is a dermatologist who shared her personal thoughts on the fad with Fitness Magazine. Gohara warned readers about the high risks associated with tanning, whether or not a can of Coca-Cola is used. Despite what many want to believe, a body’s tan is not a radiating byproduct of simple, summer life. Rather, the sun-kissed look is our skin’s reaction to toxic, ultraviolet rays. In a sense, a tan is a body’s red flag that something is wrong.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma, a very dangerous form of skin cancer, has increased 800% among women and 400% among men, between ages 18 to 39. These rates are soaring from the simple desire to ‘be tan.’

Coca-Cola, an acidic soft drink, causes tans to develop more quickly. It’s dark brown color mirrors that of iodine, a long-used substance used to achieve a dark tan. Gohara remarked that these properties don’t only aid in the development of cancer, but covering one’s body in soda likely results in wrinkles.

See Related: Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Perhaps most shocking is that more people develop skin cancer as a result of tanning than those who develop lung cancer from smoking, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Gohara shared recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology to promote safer skincare, namely annual visits to the dermatologist and daily use of a broad-spectrum SPF 30, or higher.

As the summer continues it is important to oppose sun-related fads, like using Coca-Cola to tan, in a promise to ourselves to take care of our skin.

Click here for Gohara’s full article.