Fake Tan Nearly Killed Me

All she wanted was a tan, but a dodgy spray al­most proved deadly for Lucy…

Pick Me Up! Special - - News - Lucy Fowler, 26, Brins­ley, Not­ting­hamshire

These days, you’d have to be daft not to re­alise the dan­gers of sun­bathing.

But I still liked that golden glow, so I bought it in a bot­tle. I’d tried many dif­fer­ent fake tans and found the sprays eas­i­est to ap­ply.

When shop­ping, I’d al­ways stock up on sup­plies.

On Sun­day 29 May 2016, I was pre­par­ing for a meal out with some friends.

The sun was out, so I dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.

Only, look­ing at my legs and arms: so pasty and white!

I found a prod­uct I’d never used before - St Tropez In­stant Tan Wash Off Face & Body Spray - in the bath­room cab­i­net.

I’d bought it for just £10 about a month ear­lier.

I be­gan spray­ing my legs and arms. Within sec­onds, I started

I was try­ing to avoid the dan­gers of sun­bathing

cough­ing and splut­ter­ing. I flung open the win­dow to get some air, but it was no use. Gasp­ing for breath, I headed to the bed­room. Sit­ting on the bed, try­ing to take deep breaths, my lungs strug­gled. It felt like a ton of weight was crush­ing my chest. I could taste chem­i­cals in my mouth and, pan­ick­ing, I di­alled NHS 111 for some ad­vice. I de­scribed my symp­toms and fif­teen min­utes later, paramedics ar­rived to check me over. They gave me a neb­u­liser mask, as I was shak­ing and dizzy. Slowly, my breath­ing eased, but my chest still felt tight. ‘You seem OK, but go to A&E if you feel un­well,’ one para­medic ad­vised. Must’ve been an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion, I thought. I didn’t want to let my friends down, so I strug­gled to the restau­rant to meet them. Only, once I was there, I had no ap­petite and a bad headache. ‘It feels like flu,’ I ex­plained, cut­ting the night short. Back home, though, I couldn’t

sleep at all.

Cu­ri­ous, I typed my St Tropez prod­uct into Google and I was hor­ri­fied to read that that par­tic­u­lar prod­uct had been re­called three years ear­lier, as it had caused prob­lems with breath­ing in some peo­ple.

How had I been able to buy it a month ago?

The next morn­ing I went to A&E at King’s Mill hos­pi­tal and texted my mum ask­ing her to meet me there.

I had nu­mer­ous blood tests done, a chest X-ray and I was given oxy­gen.

The mask helped me breathe eas­ier, but I was shocked to be ad­mit­ted to a ward.

Mum soon ar­rived. She was ap­palled at what’d hap­pened.

A few hours on, the doc­tor vis­ited. ‘You’re lucky to be here,’ he be­gan.

Then he ex­plained that if I’d left it any longer, my re­ac­tion to the chem­i­cal could’ve been life-threat­en­ing.

I dis­charged my­self at 8pm, as there was noth­ing more medics could do.

My body needed plenty of rest.

Off my food, I spent four days in bed sweat­ing and feel­ing rot­ten.

My lungs felt bruised and I had to take a week off from work.

I shud­dered to think what might have hap­pened if I hadn’t sought help when I did.

St Tropez im­me­di­ately launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into how it’d been avail­able to buy.

The only prob­lem was, I couldn’t re­mem­ber which shop I had bought


it from - it was over a month ago.

I’m not an­gry, it’s just an un­for­tu­nate mis­take. But I nearly paid with my life. One thing’s for sure, I’ll never use fake tan again.

I’d rather be pale than dead.

My chest felt so tight I was shocked to be ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal

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