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Indoor Tanning Linked with Skin Cancer Before Age 50

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire

Indoor Tanning Is Causing Skin Cancer

Risks of prolonged exposure to sunlight or too much time spent on indoor tanning have been long debated. People were used to utilize various protective creams and to avoid exposure at specific hours which are considered to be high risky, but indoor tanning saloons with their tanning beds are open in every season of the year and are becoming more and more popular. Researchers have concluded that indoor tanning is causing skin cancer.

Myths and facts about indoor tanning

The most common justification for those attending to tanning beds in indoor tanning saloons are that they:

  • want to be ready for the real sun exposure – in fact, tan protection provided by the tanning bed is equivalent to SPF 2-4. So, the risk of sun burns remains about the same.
  • want to save time because few minutes in the tanning beds will get them the same tan as few days on the beach would give, supposedly – in fact, the amount of radiation emitted by the source of artificial sunlight can be up to 15 times greater than that emitted by the real sun during the summer, therefore it will lead to the degradation of the DNA.
  • want to use the indoor tanning beds as treatments for diseases – in fact, there are conditions like psoriasis, or eczema, in which cases, the exposure to UV is a method of therapy, but we’re talking here about a controlled exposure to certain wavelengths, and the power of radiations is strictly controlled, being only done under medical surveillance. Tanning beds will never give you the same results as a professional medical equipment.
  • use tanning beds because they give them a good feeling – in fact, it has been believed that tanning beds triggers an increase in the level of endorphins upon the exposure to UV, but the theory has not been yet confirmed by any medical study.

Natural sunlight versus indoor tanning

Artificial sources like indoor tanning beds emits 95% UVA radiation and only 5% UVB.

A Swedish study has revealed some solid information on the risk of developing melanoma in people who are frequently attending indoor tanning sessions. Statistically, the same study has revealed that tanning bed lead to a growth in the incidence of melanoma among young women.

More recently, another retrospective study gave further information on the risk of developing skin cancer in young women who frequented tanning beds before the age of 50 years. The association of tanning beds use with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin cancers is undoubtedly.

Other studies have brought evidence that UVA radiations cause damages at the DNA level, producing premature aging, decreased immunity, skin infection, and impaired sight.

A statistics clearly shows that 90% of the total of skin cancers are caused by unprotected exposure to UV and, despite medical recommendations, indoor tanning beds saloons are still used by millions of young men and women.

Statistics show that for the young men and women who regularly used the tanning beds before the age of 35 years, their risk of developing melanoma before the age of 50 years raised by 75%, which is an extremely high risk.

If the number of tanning sessions using tanning beds is higher, the greater the risk of melanoma which is the leading cause of death in women between 25 and 30 years and the second leading cause of death in women aged between 30 and 35 years, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

The officials’ point-of-view regarding indoor tanning

The World Health Organization has developed a brochure in 2003, proposing regulations on the operation of tanning beds salons and certain protective measures.

Risks of exposure to artificial light sources that emit ultraviolet radiation like indoor tanning beds are skin cancers (melanoma, in particular), premature aging (skin is dry, wrinkled, and loses elasticity), decreased immunity, eyes impairment (cataracts, or even ocular melanoma).

Dermatologists says that sunlight exposure or indoor tanning beds sessions require a minimum of 48 hours rest, afterwards. Additionally, is required to pay attention to concomitant administration of medications or treatment creams that requires avoiding any form of UV exposure.

Generally, young men and women who go to indoor tanning beds are mostly aware of some of the risks they put themselves into, but are unaware of the risks of developing cancer, thinking that tanning beds are safe, otherwise, these saloons wouldn’t be legal anymore.

Any consequence from tanning beds UV exposure installs in time, and at around 20 or 25 years old, it is hard for them to picture themselves with wrinkles, dry skin, eczema, or cancers.

There are some much healthier solution for those men and women who enjoy to be tanned all the year: Spray Tan saloons that use spraying solution or self-tanning creams. These are a healthy alternative to indoor tanning beds.

Indoor Tanning Is Causing Skin Cancer

It has been proven by various medical studies and statistics that the indoor tanning is causing skin cancer, and what’s worsts is that these devices can cause cancers to their users before the age of 35 years. Indoor tanning in general, and skin cancer in particular, are the leading causes for death in women aged between 25 and 30 years of age, and the second causes of death in women between 30 and 35.

Additionally, official statistics conducted by the Skin Cancer Foundation, have concluded that the indoor tanning is causing skin cancer by increasing the risks of developing melanoma before the age of 50, by 75%.

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