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Sarasota Dermatology Blog

Tanning Beds and Melanoma

Tanning Beds and Melanoma

Posted on 27. Oct, 2009 by in Esthetics, Melanoma, Mohs Surgery, Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Skin Conditions, Sunburn, Sunscreen

Growing up we all thought that having a glowing tan was healthy. Forty-seven percent of teenagers today still believe that a tan is equivalent to good health. Over the years, this misconception has been proven wrong. The sun’s UV rays are damaging to the skin and can case skin cancers like Basal Cell, Squamous Cell and Melanoma as well as the many brown spots called solar lentigos. These days people are busier than ever before, and laying out at the beach is not usually an option, so people have been turning to tanning beds to achieve that healthy glow. Many people do not realize that these UV-emitting tanning devices have been the cause of an increase of skin cancers especially melanoma.

Melanoma is the 2nd most common cancer in women ages 20-29 and can cause death. The risk for cutaneous melanoma increases by 75% when a tanning device is used before the age of 30. Also, skin cancers are being found on the abdomen which is also related to tanning bed use.

Until it is made aware to the general public that tanning beds are as bad if not worse than tanning in the sun, we will see an increase of melanoma and other skin cancers. Many people might be confused since the current indoor tanning device label was written in 1979. It needs to be updated and made clear that artificial UV light increases skin cancer, and just like cigarettes; we have a known carcinogen and should have a proper label explaining risks.

If you really want bronze looking skin, use sunless tanning lotion or spray.  Avoid tanning machines and the real sun between the hours of noon and 2:00 when possible.

2 Responses to “Tanning Beds and Melanoma”

  1. SarahF

    02. Dec, 2009

    Growing up, my mom always referred to tanning booths as ‘cancer beds’. Because I was warned young, I have never been to a tanning salon. I strongly support your message, though. People need to become more aware of the extreme risk of using tanning salons and the risk of sun exposure in general. Skin cancer is not something that anyone should have to deal with as it can be a very deadly disease. We can all learn more about preventing skin cancer and here is a good place to do it: http://fromyourdoctor.com/topic.do?title=Skin+Cancer+Basics&t=6721

  2. Manuel

    26. Dec, 2015

    Hi your post will increase the aweraness in many ..to prevent skin cancer. we should avoid tanning bed .. unfortunately here in Sweden and some cold countries where sun is rare .. people mainly young people are using tanning bed . can sunless tanning can be alternative to tanning beds ? like to know your thoughts.thank you

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