Tootsie Tanner could toast your toes, FDA warns

I don’t golf and I don’t tan; rather I turn a lovely shade of lobster red. So you will understand my confusion when I ran across an Food & Drug Administration consumer warning the other day about the dangers from the Tootsie Tanner, a portable foot tanning device that uses ultraviolet light.

The Tootsie Tanner is found, it seems, in airplane “skymall” magazines and golf specialty magazines to get rid of those unsightly white feet and tanned legs of golfers who spend their summer days on the links in shorts and socks.

But because of a danger of overdosing your feet with ultraviolet radiation, the FDA issued a warning letter to the devices maker but later learned that the company had gone out of business. So if you’ve purchased the Tootsie Tanner, the FDA cautioned:

“[I]ts labeling recommends an improper duration of exposure to radiation and the device has an inadequate timer. The labeled exposure schedule indicates that the device may be used for 30 minutes, and the timer control permits 30 minutes exposure. Based on FDA testing, the maximum exposure time for this device is 20 minutes.”

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