According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 1 million people tan in tanning salons on an average day. Each year, almost 30 million people tan indoors, and 2.3 million of these individuals are teens.
As Spring Break approaches and the summer months get closer, Dr. Amanda Friedrichs encourages you to “Love the skin you’re in” and refrain from indoor tanning. Research shows that the UV radiation from tanning bulbs, booths, and beds increase your risk for skin cancer by more than 50%.
Here are the facts (taken from www.aad.org):
- Each year, more than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S., including both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, are linked to indoor tanning.
- Studies have found a 59 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use.
- Melanoma, which can be deadly, is the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults age 15-29.
- Melanoma is increasing faster in females ages 15-29 than males in the same age group.
- Even if you don’t burn after indoor tanning or sun exposure, you are still at increased risk of melanoma.
- Even one indoor tanning session can increase your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent.
- Indoor tanning before age 24 increases your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by age 50.
- Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma.
- Indoor tanning can cause injuries like burns, loss of consciousness, and eye injuries, as well as tanning addiction.
The indoor tanning industry makes the argument that tanning beds are a good way to obtain Vitamin D in the winter months. This is not true. The risk that indoor tanning poses is far greater than any benefit. It is very easy to get your daily allowance of Vitamin D through a balanced diet and supplements.
A safe alternative to indoor tanning is using sunless tanner to get the “glow” you are looking for. Sunless tanners pose no risk to the skin and look seamless and natural if applied correctly.
Watch this video from the American Academy of Dermatology on how to apply sunless tanner. (And watch for Dr. Friedrichs, who makes a special appearance at the end!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqpGvQwTaao