Tanning Beds Are Not Skin Healthy And Can Cause Cancer
Top researchers in the fields of dermatology, melanoma and biology have issued a report that indoor tanning and tanning beds are equally unsafe for skin as ultraviolet radiation from the sun and may contribute to the marked increase in skin cancers. Scientists from the University of London and University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center carried out the research and have strongly urged people to stop self tanning.
More than 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 60,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Melanoma is the most common cancer of young people age 20-39 and the incidence of skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer worldwide.
The bronze glow of a tan is sought after and people have been misled into thinking that the tanning booth is a way to have golden sun-kissed skin without the danger. The Indoor Tanning Association has been saying that tanning booths supply needed Vitamin D and are safer than the sun. But the evidence is clear... "No Tan is a Safe Tan" and the artificial UV radiation from tanning booths has the same damaging effects as UV radiation from the sun.
Ultraviolet radiation causes irreversible damage to cellular DNA in the skin. Intermittent exposure and exposure during childhood and adolescence are important predictors for basal cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. High levels of chronic exposure, such as working unprotected in the sun, is more often associated with squamous cell tumors.
The damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation accumulate over years and researchers are calling for a ban on tanning booths for people under age 18.
Everyone, especially children should be shielded from the sun by wearing hats and loose protective clothing. Sunscreens should be applied frequently when sports or other outdoor activities are played. For that bronze, healthy look, spray tans or tanning lotions can provide a safe tan.
Toni Brayer, MD