The Risks of Indoor Tanning
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Sequel Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma are not limited to direct sun exposure. Instead, these diseases have also been associated with the use of tanning beds. Recent studies have shown that 35 percent of American adults have reported the use of tanning beds in their lifetime and doctors have consequently seen a rise in skin cancer diagnoses.
Organizations That Oppose Tanning Beds
Before you consider going to the tanning bed consider the organizations who oppose their use.
- The American Academy of Dermatology (AADA) has released a statement on its position regarding indoor tanning by saying that it “opposes indoor tanning and supports a ban on the production and sale of indoor tanning equipment for nonmedical purposes.”
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated that “Indoor tanning is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of getting melanoma.”
- The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) said it “actively opposes tanning through UV radiation.” The MRF even went so far as comparing tanning to other addictive substances (such as smoking) as UV light has been connected to the release of endorphins (enabling addiction) and diseases.
While our culture may associate the sun with happiness and vitamin D, it is important to know that there is “no safe way to get a tan,” and that “tanning bed use before the age of 35 increases your risk of developing skin cancer by 75 percent.”
The question that we must now ask ourselves is whether the short term tan is worth the long term risk.