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Can Tanning Beds Cause Skin Cancer

Myth : After A Long Dark Winter Its Not So Bad To Enjoy A Little Bit Of Sun Without Sunscreen For Once

Avoid Tanning Beds to Prevent Skin Cancer – Mayo Clinic

Fred Hutch is based in Seattle, a city famous for its seasonal gloom. And Seattleites can vouch: There is no sight as glorious after a dark and rainy Northwest winter as a sunny blue sky. On the first warm days of the year, we crawl out of our winter hiding places, burst out of our GoreTex exoskeletons and throw our exposed flesh into the welcome rays.

Thereâs nothing wrong with enjoying the sunshine, Lee said. But slap on that sunscreen first. Getting a sunburn, even infrequently, boosts your risk of melanoma.

âPeople donât realize that sporadic sun exposure can really cause a lot of damage,â Lee said. âThe problem is people very naturally feel like they havenât seen sun all year, or they go on vacation to Hawaii or the Southwest, and they feel like they donât really need sun protection. And they get fried.â

The Facts The Risks How They Affect You

Indoor Tanning Dangers

75%increased risk of developing life-threatening melanoma from just one indoor tanning session before age 35.

Tanning outside or indoors can have dangerous consequences. While often associated with good health, the glow of a tan is the very opposite of healthy its evidence of DNA injury to your skin. Tanning damages your skin cells and speeds up visible signs of aging. Worst of all, tanning can lead to skin cancer.

Its a fact: There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan. Tanning increases your risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Your best defense is to avoid tanning altogether.

The Winter Months Are Still Dangerous

Even though the sun doesn’t seem as strong in the winter months, it’s just as important to protect yourself harmful UVB rays are present year-around.

“If you’re outside, any uncovered areas of your body are exposed to UV rays,” Susan Chon, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at MD Anderson, said in an interview. Though cooler temps can be deceiving, if you’re outside, you’re still at risk for skin damage. In fact, people enjoying the great outdoors and the snow in the winter to be extra vigilant, since snow reflects light.

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Health & Wellnessskin Cancer Rising Sharply Among Young Women 7 Warning Signs To Never Ignore

Tanning seemed to be the cool thing to do, Dudley recalled, adding she had few worries about the UV radiation. I was more concerned about how I looked based on how I felt about myself, being young and wanting to fit in.

As an adult, she began getting regular skin checks and had moles removed as a precaution. But the results were always benign and the checkups became less frequent as Dudley had children and was busy working on her career.

Common Indoor Tanning Myths


Even though indoor tanning technically looks safe, it still exposes people to a far larger amount of UV rays in a shorter amount of time.

Many indoor tanning devices do operate on timers, but they also expose users to a large amount of ultraviolet rays in a short amount of time. The amount of ultraviolet rays exposed to the person who uses the tanning equipment varies, usually based on the type of bulb used. People even get sunburns from tanning indoors, and that alone potentially damages the skin.

In other words, indoor tanning doesnt protect again sunburns. Tanning is actually a bodily response to skin injury: when the skin cells are attacked by ultraviolet rays, they respond by producing more pigment to protect the skin.

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Can Tanning Beds Cause Skin Cancer

Can you get skin cancer from tanning beds? Yes in fact, you are more likely to get skin cancer from tanning beds than you are to get lung cancer from smoking. When it comes to tanning beds and skin cancer, statistics show that there is no such thing as a safe indoor tan. In fact, any tan at all is a sign of skin damage that accelerates aging and leads to an increased risk of cancer!

I Survived Melanoma And I Want You To Know: Indoor Tanning Is Dangerous

Ashley Drury, 30, is a Florida native and stage 4 melanoma survivor.

I started using indoor tanning beds in high school and was instantly addicted to everything about themthe warmth, the humming noise, the way a tan boosted my confidence. Shortly after I started tanning as a hobby, it also became my career. For 6 years I worked in the tanning salon industry, including 3 years in management. I recruited all of my friends to either work or tan alongside me.

I attended trainings to learn about each layer of the skin and how the different types of ultraviolet rays affected the body. But I never thought that indoor tanning could be dangerous. I even wrote papers in college promoting it. I felt so invincible. Even after I heard horror stories about the negative effects of indoor tanning, I knew theyd never happen to me.

I couldnt have been more wrong.

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Why Is Your Spray Tan Safer To Tanning Beds

According to FDA, any tanning method using UV radiation to tan people can create some serious health risks without us knowing. The most common problems here include skin cancer, premature aging, and skin burns. Following it is an enhanced number of reports that claimed that a tanning bed is even much riskier than we thought.

While your spray tan is seen as a radiation-free option and was agreed to be so secure that even a girl as young as five years old who is allowed to get sprayed to own a perfect tan for her performance in beauty pageants.

And whats coming up next? That is the time when the tanning service has hit thousands of salons across America even without protective equipment. In this context, try to use both eye and nose guards to make sure the whole tanning process to be fully safe.

Now you dont have to ask yourself something like do spray tans cause cancer? Or does your spray tan cause any health issues? over and over again. Here are the best ways to decrease your risk factor of all health issues from your tan :

As you see, based on what we learned today, though DHA overuse will lead to some health issues, such as asthma or COPD, its still safe when we apply it to the skin properly. Having the right application refers to dodging your highly sensitive complexion around the eyes or on the lips, together with other cuts.

Tanning Salons Tanning Salons Tanning Salons

Does Indoor Tanning Cause Skin Cancer?

Even with the summer sun in its full glory, the most dangerous myths on the minds of Fred Hutch experts right now involve indoor tanning. There are so many harmful myths floating around about tanning salons that itâs hard to know which ones to tackle first.

The Cliffs Notes version: Do not, under any circumstance, use a tanning bed or a tanning lamp. And if you already have, donât use them any more.

âItâs so crazy that itâs legal for teenagers in most parts of the country,â said Fred Hutch melanoma researcher Dr. Sylvia Lee.

Letâs address some of the top tanning-industry lies individually:

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What Are The Dangers Of Indoor Tanning

Studies have shown that the use of indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma, the deadliest form of skincancer. The use of tanning devicesis also associated with melanoma of the eye, premature skin aging, and the development of cataracts.

Using indoor tanning beds and other indoor devices before the age of 35 increases your risk of melanoma by 59 percent.

The International Agency of Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, has declared ultraviolet radiation from artificial sources such as tanning beds and sun lamps as carcinogenic to humans. These devices were elevated to the highest cancer risk category, which includes other carcinogens such as radon, tobacco, and asbestos.

Growing Up I Equated Bronze With Beauty

I grew up tanning alongside my parents who bought into the mass-marketed idea that theres no beauty without bronze.

As the legend goes, in the 1920s fashion icon Coco Chanel came back from a Mediterranean cruise with a dark tan and sent pop culture, which had pretty much always valued pale complexions, into a frenzy. And Western civilizations obsession with the tan was born.

In the 50s and 60s, surf culture went mainstream and the tan hype got even more extreme. It wasnt only beautiful to be tan, it was an ode to the body and a challenge to conservatism. And Southern California, former home to both of my parents, was ground zero.

My dad graduated high school outside of Los Angeles in 1971, the same year a bronzed Malibu Barbie premiered, beach-ready in a bathing suit and sunglasses. And my mom spent summers as a teenager gallivanting around Venice Beach.

If they did use sunscreen or take precautionary sun measures in those days, it was only enough to ward off serious burns because Ive seen the photos, and their bodies glowed copper.

However, the obsession with tan skin didnt end with my parents generation. In many ways, it only got worse. The bronzed look remained popular through the 90s and early 2000s, and tanning technology only seemed to get more advanced. Thanks to tanning beds, you didnt even have to live near a beach.

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Tanning Beds & Skin Cancer: Statistics

Outcomes vary depending on the type of skin cancer that a patient develops. Many cases of skin cancer will be the result of multiple factors, but exposure to sunlight is almost always involved:

  • Roughly 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers have been found to result from excessive sun exposure.
  • Another study determined that up to 86% of melanoma skin cancers are the result of solar UV radiation.

Sun exposure is an important factor in almost every skin cancer diagnosis, but thats partly because sun exposure is much more constant than tanning bed exposure! Tanning beds are hardly a safer alternative, as evidenced by the following:

  • Rates of UV exposure in tanning beds are up to 10 to 15 times higher than the sun at its peak intensity.
  • One recent study looked at 63 women who were diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 30. 97% of these women had used tanning beds, and this correlation is simply too high to be ignored.
  • Other studies have shown that those with a history of indoor tanning are 4069% more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.
  • The risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma increases by up to 89% for patients with a history of indoor tanning.

Why Do People Use Indoor Tanning

Indoor Tanning Beds Skin Cancer Melanoma Risk

Even though indoor tanning isn’t safe, some people still use it. But their reasons may not be valid.

  • People may believe that indoor tanning can give them a “base tan” that protects them from getting a sunburn while outdoors. But a tan is how your skin responds to injurygetting a tan is a sign that your skin has already been damaged.
  • People may believe that they can avoid sunburn by using indoor tanning. But if you stay under the artificial light too long or at too high an intensity, you can get a sunburn.
  • People may say they use indoor tanning to get vitamin D in the winter, when there is less sunlight. You can do this, but you can get vitamin D from a healthy diet or a vitamin supplement and avoid the risk of cancer.

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Whos At Risk Of Skin Damage From Sunbeds

Everyone who uses sunbeds increases their risk of UV damage and skin cancer, but some people are more at risk of burning than others. This includes people with one or more of the following:

skin that burns easily light or fair coloured skin, hair, or light coloured eyes lots of moles or freckles a history of sunburn a personal or family history of skin cancer

It is important to know how you can protect yourself. Find out more about your skin type and risk of sunburn.

Top 3 Causes Of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a disease that affects countless people around the world. While there is some understanding in the general population about what causes this form of cancer, there are also some misconceptions. Understanding exactly what causes skin cancer is a key step in preventing the disease. Lets look at the main causes for skin cancer and how these triggers can lead to different forms of the disease.

There is one main cause of skin cancer, and that is the ultraviolet radiation present in UV rays. People become exposed to these rays in two ways: via sunlight or tanning beds. There are also risk factors that can come into play and increase ones risk of getting skin cancer.

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Increased Skin Cancer Risk Factors

While UV rays via sunlight or tanning beds are the main triggers behind skin cancer, having certain risk factors can increase your chances to develop skin cancer. Risk factors associated with skin cancer include:

  • Getting more than five sunburns in a lifetime.Having fair skin.
  • Having a family history of skin cancer.
  • Being exposed to certain substances such as arsenic.
  • Living in a sunny climate or at high elevations.

While sunlight and tanning beds are the two main causes of skin cancer and an increase in risk factors can affect your chances of developing the disease, the type and duration of your exposure to UV rays can lead to different types of skin cancers.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, is typically caused by intermittent, intense and cumulative long-term exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is primarily the result of long-term exposure to UV radiation. A distinction with this type of carcinoma is that tanning beds are believed to be as much of a risk factor as sunlight. Anyone who engages in long-term use of tanning beds significantly increases their risk of developing an SCC.


The main cause of melanoma is believed to be intense exposure to sun that causes sunburn. Regular use of tanning beds can also increase the risk of developing melanoma.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

British Columbia Specific Information


Indoor tanning for cosmetic purposes has become increasingly popular. The World Health Organization has found that ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning increases the risk of developing skin cancers in people 35 years and younger. BC provincial Regulated Activities Regulation does not allow people under the age of 18 to use tanning equipment in order to reduce the chances of them developing severe skin cancer late in life. For more information on indoor tanning, visit Ministry of Health – Tanning Beds.

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Don’t Be Fooled By Cloudy Days

Many people believe cloudy days decrease the risk of getting a sunburn, so they are less vigilant about putting on sunscreen or wearing a hat and sunglasses, but doctors warn some of the worst sunburns can occur on cloudy days. Even through cloud coverage, UV rays reach the Earth’s surface and your skin.

Some studies, including one published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, describe an effect called “cloud enhancement of UV radiation.” According to the study, the sun’s beams reflect off the sides of clouds, which causes radiation to be more focused and dangerous for people on the surface of the Earth.

“Don’t be fooled by an overcast day or a cool breeze!” says the World Health Organization. “Even a long stay in open shade, for example between buildings, may give a sensitive person a sunburn on a day with high UV levels.”

The Risks Of Using Tanning Beds

When UV rays from the sun penetrate the lower layers of your skin, it prompts the cells to create a brown pigment called melanin. By darkening your skin, melanin protects it from further sun damage. A by-product of this is that your skin becomes tan.

While your tan may cause you to become the envy of all who see you, it also has more unfortunate consequences. Strong UV rays can actually change the DNA in your skin cells, which is what we think causes skin cancer. Each time you tan, your risk of developing skin cancer increases. Furthermore, tanning can put you at high risk for the most dangerous of skin cancers, melanoma. About 90% of melanoma cases are caused by UV exposure whether that comes from the sun or from tanning beds.

People often think tanning indoors is safer than lying out in the sun, and its easy to see why, especially since many tanning studios promote this idea. Sadly, though, its not true. In fact, the evidence suggests that indoor tanning is more dangerous than outdoor sun tanning. This may be because indoor tanning exposes your skin to UV light at a steady, unchanging intensity, whereas sun exposure varies based on factors like weather and cloud cover. Of course, any kind of tanning can lead to skin cancer, so we wouldnt suggest merely swapping one form of tanning for another.

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Be Careful Dha Has Its Risks

We cant give you the exact answer to your most concerned worry do spray tans cause cancer? If youre really into getting a spray tan and just love to do it all the time, watch out for some unwanted health issues. How come? The first reason here is because sunless tanning is pretty much a new thing, meaning that we dont see much research about its true effects with DHA.

Following one study of this substance, it was said to possibly change the gene of various cells and even organisms though no human subject joined this study. When accidentally inhale DHA, its likely to get in your lungs and through the bloodstreams, which might lead to some severe health issues like cancer for instance.

According to a report of ABC News, it showed the major concerns about salons and the chance of breathing DHA along with other substances. Following it is research which apparently kept up with the idea that spray-tanning inhalation might increase humans risk for asthma or COPD .

As you see, DHA overuse also shows a dangerous situation not just for those who get a spray tan, but for the one who provides the products per day. Above all, your health is determined mainly by your own decision. Remember that the tanning is certainly safer than baking yourself in the sun, or lying in a tanning bed.


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