Do tanning beds cause skin cancer? Melanoma experts have long warned against indoor tanning and now another supporter is helping spread the message.
The office of the U.S. Surgeon General issues a stern warning to those considering getting a quick bronze in a tanning bed this winter: Don’t do it!
With technology simplifying many aspects of our lives, it’s tempting to look for shortcuts. But when it comes to keeping that summer glow, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Overexposure to UV light, such as those used in tanning salons, greatly increase one’s risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, the FDA is quickly moving to mandate warning labels on tanning beds to deter use by anyone under 18 years of age.
It’s a matter of great concern. While the incidence of other cancers in the U.S. declined in recent years, skin cancer rates have risen. Each year, nearly 6,000 cases of melanoma, the deadliest and most prevalent form of skin cancer in adults ages 25 to 29, can be directly attributed to the use of tanning beds and lamps.
Studies show that frequent tanners are nearly 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma, but even sparse tanning has its dangers. As little as four annual sessions at a tanning booth can increase melanoma risk by 11 percent and the risk of other skin carcinomas by 15 percent!
A new study reveals that UVA radiation from tanning beds triggers the brain to release endorphins that encourage repeat sessions. Other studies liken the effect to other forms of substance abuse. It’s a powerful addiction that becomes harder to break with each visit to the salon.
Tanning bed manufacturers and salon owners often claim that indoor tanning is safer than sunlight exposure because tanning devices emit UVA rather than UVB rays. However, scientists have proven that both forms of UV light can cause cancer and that tanning beds and lamps often overstep “safe” exposure levels. In 2009, the World Health Organization declared tanning machines a major cause of cancer.
Often times melanoma can be misdiagnosed as eczema or psoriasis from the person suffering from it. Early detection is vital in helping to treat melanoma. If you have a suspicious mole, skin tag or skin abnormality, it is best to make an appointment immediately! Don’t wait until it is too late.