Indoor Tanning – Is a Tan Worth the Risk?
Are you one of the ones who believe that tanning beds are not a “real” form of sun exposure, and therefore are not as dangerous as subjecting your skin to “real” sun? This is a misconception the tanning industry has used to try make people believe that tanning using tanning (UV) rays is safe. There is no such thing as safe UV radiation. In fact, it is just the opposite. Tanning beds produce concentrated UV rays and can be even more dangerous than exposure to the sun.
In May, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a final order to reclassify ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices from class I (low to moderate risk) to class II (moderate to high risk) devices. Tanning salons will now be required to have warning labels posted on the devices, noting that they should not be used by persons under the age of 18. While the government feels it’s important to warn people of dangers, as in cigarette smoking, it is still hard to convince everyone that there is real danger in using indoor tanning beds. Our American rights give us a choice, and in spite of the drastic warnings, some continue to prefer that temporary golden tan achieved by just a short session at the tanning salon. Humans, especially the young, optimistically believe that skin cancer won’t happen to them. Unfortunately, statistics show the facts, and there is still an increase of the number of cases of melanoma, many probably accelerated by use of indoor tanning. Goodman Dermatology, located just south of Alpharetta, GA, advises all of their patients not to use tanning beds as well as any sun exposure without skin protection.
Studies offer alarming evidence that indoor tanning bed use increases the risk of melanoma. Just one indoor UV tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent. Even more alarming, those who begin tanning before age 35 increase their risk by almost 75 percent.
• The number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.
• In the US, 35% of adults and 55% of college students have tanned
• In the US alone, 419,254 cases of skin cancer can be attributed to indoor tanning. Out of this number, 6,199 are melanoma cases.
• Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never used a tanning bed.
Dr. Marcus Goodman sees many cases of Melanoma at his practice in Roswell, GA. He can never pinpoint that a certain person developed melanoa from using a tanning bed but, that it’s a combination of factors.
• White skinned Americans are 20% more likely than African American’s
• Excess sun exposure
• Using tanning beds (UV)
Dr. Goodman encourages everyone to have an annual skin screening. Early detection is the key to keeping this disease from becoming fatal. Goodman Dermatology is located conveniently in Roswell, GA, just south of the Alpharetta, GA border. Call and schedule your appointment now. Your life may depend on it.
Source: American Cancer Society. Sept. 9, 2014