Tanning Bed Blog
Written By Dr. Lauren Hughey
As we prepare for summer, I have heard patients say, “I just use the tanning bed to get a base tan so that I don’t burn”. Beware, this is a myth and not advisable! AVOID the tanning bed at all cost! If you want a base tan, just use higher SPF sunscreen the first several exposures out in the sun. You will still tan through sunscreen but the most damaging rays are filtered out. Tanning beds, however, are pressurized UVA rays which are some of the most damaging rays. We now know that use of the tanning bed before age 35 increases risk of melanoma by 75% (World Health Organization). In addition, a recent systemic review and meta-analysis reports the number of skin cancers attributed to indoor tanning exceeds those of lung cancer caused by smoking! Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer. In addition, the sun and tanning beds age you and cause extensive wrinkling of the skin. For all of those moms out there with dance-team and cheerleader daughters, Do the Right Thing, and make sure they are not using tanning beds. For all those moms out there who use tanning beds themselves, remember you are modeling this dangerous behavior for your children.
Other interesting facts about tanning beds:
- The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services have declared UV radiation from artificial sources (tanning beds) as a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).