Radiant Dermatology’s primary goal is to keep you and your skin healthy. We also want to help you be happy with the way your skin looks. You may think that you would look better with a tan, but for your skin’s sake, we hope you reconsider getting in that tanning bed. There is no such thing as “harmless” or “safe” UV rays, even when your salon claims that there is. All UV radiation, be it from the sun or a tanning bed, causes damage to your skin. Your body’s response to this damage is a tan or a sunburn. Over time, UV exposure leads to many health problems including skin cancer, premature skin aging and eye disorders.
The FDA has recently proposed new safety measures for indoor tanning devices. The most drastic rule proposed is a nationwide restriction of sunlamp use to people 18 years and older. The agency is concerned with the long-term health effects and states that UV exposure at a young age increases the risk of skin damage later in life. They are also proposing rules that force indoor tanning facilities and sunlamp manufacturers to be more open about the health risks associated with indoor tanning. The new rules would require users of indoor tanning devices to sign waivers acknowledging their awareness of the dangers of these devices. They also want to require manufacturers to make steps to improve the safety of their devices. The goal of the FDA proposal is to protect consumers, both child and adult, from the dangers that indoor tanning presents.
UV radiation is a carcinogen. Both sun exposure and artificial UV rays (such as tanning beds) have been linked with skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, indoor tanning increases the risk of developing melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. They also cite research that suggests just one use of an indoor tanning bed increases the risk of developing skin cancer and each subsequent tanning session further increases a person’s risk. Indoor tanning also causes premature wrinkles and age spots. In addition to the long term effects of artificial UV radiation, there are short-term health dangers including burns and eye injury. A recent study of US hospital records estimates that emergency departments treat more than 3,000 indoor-tanning related injuries each year.
Getting that tan is not worth all the health problems it may cause you. Your skin is worth protecting. Radiant Dermatology supports the FDA proposal and stricter regulation of indoor tanning devices. Avoid tanning beds and use sunscreen every day to prevent skin cancer and other effects of UV radiation. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Friedrichs to learn more about skin cancer prevention and treatment.