The wish for a sun kissed glow year-round has led to an ever-popular demand for tanning beds. Unfortunately many tanning bed users fall for the tanning myths and are not aware of the severe, long-term effects that result from extensive use.
Tanning Beds are not safer than the sun.
Research has shown that just one indoor tanning session can increase the risk of developing skin cancer:
• Melanoma = 20% increase
• Squamous Cell Carcinoma = 67% increase
• Basal Cell Carcinoma = 29% increase
The evidence that indoor tanning dramatically increases your risk of skin cancer is so high that the FDA requires warning labels on all indoor tanning equipment.
Getting a base tan does not prevent sunburn.
According to Dr. Erik Alexander, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “Many people have the theory that going tanning prior to a vacation to develop a “base tan” will help prevent getting sunburn. The truth is there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanned skin is a result of damage to the skin cells – your skin producing pigment in response to UV damage in an attempt to protect itself. Over time, the damaged skin cells can lead to wrinkles, age spots, premature aging and even skin cancer.”
You do not get Vitamin D from a tanning bed
Another tanning myth is when you utilize a tanning bed your body gets much needed Vitamin D. That is entirely false. The bulbs used in tanning beds emit mostly UVA light. Your body needs UVB light to make Vitamin D.
Quitting, or avoiding, tanning beds can help you live longer.
“By choosing not to tan, you reduce your risk of developing many types of skin cancer, including melanoma” added Dr. Alexander.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if no one young than 18 years of age ever used a tanning bed, we could prevent approximately 61,000+ melanomas and 6,500+ deaths due to melanoma. Don’t become another statistic. Prevent your chances of skin cancer by avoiding the tanning beds this year and increasing your use of sunscreen.
At Forefront Dermatology, we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us. That’s why we’re here for all the moments when you do. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all skin conditions and create customized treatment plans for all ages – even the tiniest of patients! Find a location near you today.