Tanning Beds Vs Sun: Skin Cancer Risk Factors
Tanning beds and sun exposure are, by far, the most common causes of skin cancer. This is because both produce UV light. Although tanning beds primarily utilize UVA rays, and the sun produces UVA and UVB, neither type of ray is capable of producing a safe or risk-free tan. In years past, it was common to hear that indoor tanning was actually safer than outdoor tanning, but this isnt actually the case. Heres why:
- UVB rays are generally stronger and more likely to burn the skin, but they are also partially blocked by ozone layer .
- UVA rays vary in intensity, and although they tend to be weaker than UVB rays, they are also much more common, and they can penetrate the skin more deeply.
- UVA rays are not blocked by windows or cloud cover, so if youre visiting any tanning beds, youre simply adding to an already high level of exposure.
While most sunscreens now protect against UVA and UVB rays, certain brands may not offer broad-spectrum UVA protection. Use sunscreen daily, and read the label carefully to ensure that you stay safe.
Can Tanning Cause Skin Cancer
Many of us grew up believing that a tan was the ultimate picture of health and vitality, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Tanned skin actually signifies skin cells that have been damaged by UV radiation from the sun, and its this damage that can increase the incidence of skin cancers. Skin cancer from tanning can include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and the most dangerous of all, melanoma. The more we tan and sunburn, the higher the risk will be. Thats why its so important that we all know and understand the risks of skin cancer from tanning from an early age.
So what effect does tanning have?
You dont need to get sunburnt to be damaging your skin. As the suns UV radiation hits your skin, your body produces a pigment called melanin to try to protect itself. The problem is that this UV exposure and associated cell damage builds up over time and increases the risk of skin cancers developing. As well as the risk of skin cancer, this damage to your skin cells can also contribute to loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and skin discolouration even more reason to cover up and remember to be sun smart!
What are the chances of skin cancer from tanning beds?
Are there any alternatives to tanning?
Tanning Facts And Risks
Skin damage starts with your very first tan. Each time you tan, the damage builds up, creating more genetic mutations and greater risk.
Indoor tanning is dangerous: Tanning beds dont offer a safe alternative to sunlight they raise the risk for skin cancers. One study observing 63 women diagnosed with melanoma before age 30 found that 61 of them thats 97 percent used tanning beds.
Tanning damages all types of skin: Even if your skin type is not fair, tanning causes DNA injury that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.
You can easily reduce your likelihood of developing skin cancer by practicing sun safety.
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The Trouble With Indoor Tanning
Indoor tanning involves using a sunlamp, tanning booth or tanning bed to tan the skin indoors. Although indoor tanning is a rather convenient and, subsequently, popular form of tanning, its also considered dangerous in many respects.
Indoor tanning is actually linked with various skin cancers, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Its also linked with eye cancers, such as ocular melanoma. Indoor tannings link with various types of cancers involves its use of ultraviolet rays in a hyper-concentrated setting.
When using a tanning bed or other indoor tanning equipment, users get exposed to two different types of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB rays. These rays damage the skin and cause the skin to develop cancer. Since people use indoor tanning at a larger rate than in the past, more people now have a higher risk of contracting some form of skin cancer, due to the exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Younger people, especially, are now at higher risk of contracting skin cancers like melanoma. People who start indoor tanning at a younger age will develop that higher risk, since they get exposed to a greater amount of ultraviolet rays than most do in a lifetime.
Indoor tanning also causes other effects to the skin, such as premature skin aging and changes to the skins texture. It also increases the risk of developing possibly blinding eye diseases.
Do Children And Teenagers Have A Special Risk
Most of us have stayed out in the sun too long and gotten a sunburn at some point in our lives. But when this happens during childhood or the teenage years, it can increase the risk for melanoma later in life.
And because of the risk for skin cancer, medical experts recommend that children 18 and younger not use indoor tanning at all. Some provinces have made it illegal for children 18 and younger to use indoor tanning.
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Protect Yourself From Skin Cancer
People diagnosed with skin cancer can often be treated successfully. However, its far better to take preventative measures that will help you avoid needing treatment at all. The most effective way to protect yourself from skin cancer is to avoid tanning beds and excessive sun exposure and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
Still Thinking Of Using A Sunbed
If you are still thinking of using a sunbed please think again. Sunbed uses increases your risk of skin cancer, whatever your age, sex and skin type. But, some people are at greater risk that others and should not use a sunbed under any circumstances.
This includes you if:
- You have fair or freckled skin
- Your skin always burns and never tans or burns before it tans
- You have a lot of moles
- You have had skin cancer or a family member has had skin cancer
- You use cosmetics or take medications that make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.
If you are unsure whether the cosmetics or medication you use affect your risk, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
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Skin Cancer Risk From Tanning Sunbathing Worse Than Previously Thought
PULLMAN, Wash. The risk of getting skin cancer from tanning beds or sunbathing appears to be much worse than many think. Scientists at Washington State University say exposure to ultraviolet light triggers multiple mutations.
The study finds exposure to DNA-damaging ultraviolet light used in tanning beds could cause malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Their research also discovered a single intense dose to ultraviolet-B radiation, coming in sunlight, is enough to cause abnormal mutations.
While UV light has been linked to skin cancer for some time, researchers are still learning about how damaging it can be. UV light is a form of electromagnetic radiation, which comes from the sun and man-made sources like tanning beds.
Theres been this debate: how much does UV light cause the mutations that actually cause the cancer? Our research supports that UV light plays a major role in producing mutations specific to the growth and spread of melanoma, says study co-author professor John Wyrick, of the universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, in a university release.
Educating Others About The Dangers Of Indoor Tanning
Most important, I go to local high schools, womenâs seminars, and fundraising events as a speaker for various charities, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Shade Foundation, and the American Cancer Society. I urge young people to avoid tanning beds and prolonged sun exposure. I tell them to be proactive about their skin care by getting checked by a dermatologist annually and checking their own skin monthly. My self-pity is gone. And now I have a mission.
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Get To Know Your Skin
If you have previously used a solarium, your risk of skin cancer will be higher. Get to know your skin and go to the doctor as soon as possible if you notice any new or unusual spots or changes to an existing spot. You may also want to talk to your doctor about developing a surveillance plan.
Read more about how to check for skin cancer.
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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Protect Yourself & Look Great
- Avoid tanning entirely: Its the best way to safeguard against unhealthy, unsightly skin damage.
- Fake, dont bake: If you want a golden glow, consider sunless tanning products. There are many options that can give you a bronzed look, but you still need sun protection!
- Tone, dont tan: Get radiant skin by doing aerobic or high-intensity exercises. Working out feels good and boosts your mood.
- Hydrate, eat great: Drink lots of water and choose whole, unprocessed foods. Your skin will thank you!
Make healthy skin a way of life. Get the details here: Your Daily Sun Protection Guide
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.
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Study: Tanning Beds Cause 170k Skin Cancer Cases Yearly
Indoor tanning is to blame for more than 170,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in the United States each year, a new study finds.
“The numbers are striking – hundreds of thousands of cancers each year are attributed to tanning beds,” senior study author Dr. Eleni Linos, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California – San Francisco, said in a . “This creates a huge opportunity for cancer prevention.”
Non-melanoma skin cancers comprise the most common form of the disease in the U.S., accounting for 2 million new cases each year according to estimates from the National Cancer Institute.
In one of the most extensive studies on the link to date, researchers analyzed 12 earlier studies involving more than 9,300 patients with non-melanoma skin cancer. Analysis revealed that compared with those who never used indoor tanning, indoor tanning was associated with a 67 percent risk increase for developing squamous cell carcinoma and a 29 percent higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.
“These cancers may not be lethal, but they can be disfiguring,” Dr. Craig Devoe, oncologist at North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Center for Melanoma and Rare Skin Cancers in Great Neck N.Y., told WebMD. “To get tan, the ultraviolet rays must cause damage to your DNA,” added Devoe, who was not involved in the study. “This is how you get tan.”
Are You More Likely To Get Skin Cancer From The Sun Or A Tanning Bed
Myth 1: Tanning beds are safer than the sun. Actually, the opposite is true: Devices like tanning beds and sun lamps can emit higher amounts of ultraviolet radiation than the sun, including both UVA and UVB radiation. UV radiation of any type increases your cancer risk, and the more you get, the higher your risk.
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Is Indoor Tanning Safe
People may feel that a tan makes them look good and that a tan looks “healthy.” But recent research has found that being exposed to the light from tanning beds isn’t as safe as it might seem.
The light from a tanning device can cause skin cancer. Tanning devices are linked to basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and the most serious type of cancer, melanoma. Indoor tanning, especially if used before age 35, increases your risk for all these skin cancers.
And indoor tanning harms you in other ways as well. It can:
- Cause skin damage, including wrinkling at a younger age than normal.
- Give you a rash, if you are sensitive to sunlight.
How Many People Get Skin Cancer From Tanning Beds A Year
The cost of direct medical care for skin cancer cases attributable to indoor tanning is $343.1 million annually in the U.S. More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas and 6,200 melanomas.
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Common Myths About Sunbeds
There are some common myths about sunbeds. ‘I have used a sunbed for years, the damage is done’. Or ‘sunbeds are great to clear acne’. These statements are all false, but all too common and we have a developed a mythbusting guide to sunbeds.
Read about common sunbed myths and how acting on these false perceptions can damage your health.
The Dangers Of The Tanning Bed
Diamondis J. Papadopoulos, a highly-trained, board-certified doctor, has seen the effects of tanning bed use first-hand. He knows many young folks use tanning beds for cosmetic reasons. Once spring arrives and its time for a wardrobe change, some individuals hit the tanning booth to prep for spring break, formal dances, and wearing skimpier clothing. Dr. Papadopoulos message to tanning fanatics is, Just dont do it.
Two Types of Dangerous Rays
Both the sun and tanning beds emit ultraviolet rays, also known as UV rays. When soaking up the sun outside, you are exposed to UVB rays. Tanning beds expose tanners to UVA rays. Both types of rays are dangerous and potentially cause cancer.
Statistics Dont Lie
Acquiring a tan by artificial or natural means exposes the skin to damaging UV rays which kick start a healing process in the skin layers. Some healing enzymes repair the skin, but some mutate. The mutated cells can become cancerous. Common skin cancers are basal, carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma can be deadly. Statistics from the Skin Cancer Foundation show that repeated sunburns can double the chances of developing melanoma, and individuals who use tanning beds before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75%.
Tanning Beds are Linked to Cancer
Sunless Tanning Is Possible
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Solarium Or Tanning Salon Use In Australia
Due to the health risks, commercial tanning units were banned in Victoria in January 2015. This ban was the outcome of almost a decade of ongoing campaigning led by Cancer Council and partners. As a result of this work many Victorians have and will continue to be saved from the devastating effects that skin cancer has on people and their families.
Before the ban, it was estimated that each year in Australia, solarium use led to:
- 281 new melanoma cases
- 2,572 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma.
Commercial solarium operators are also banned in all other Australian states and territories.
To report the unlawful use of tanning units for commercial purposes, or for further queries about solarium legislation in Victoria, contact the Department of Healths Radiation Safety Team on Tel. or email .
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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