3 arguments against tanning beds

Last Modified: 8/22/2019

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that 35 percent of American adults, 59 percent of college students, and 17 percent of teens have used a tanning bed in their lifetime. Approximately 7.8 million adult women and 1.9 million adult men in the United States tan indoors. While some believe the practice is safe in moderation, Tina Kinsley, MD, PPG – Dermatology, offers three convincing arguments that might change your mind.

Argument No. 1 – Tanning beds are not safer than the sun. 

Just one indoor tanning session can increase the risk of developing skin cancer (melanoma by 20 percent, squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent, and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent). Women who tan indoors before they are 30 are six times more likely to get melanoma, which is the deadliest skin cancer.

The evidence that indoor tanning dramatically increases your risk of getting skin cancer is so strong that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires warning labels on all indoor tanning equipment.

Argument No. 2 – All tanning makes skin age faster.

Tanning, indoors or with the sun, makes your skin age more quickly. Wrinkles, age spots, and loss of skin firmness tend to appear years earlier in people who tan.

Argument No. 3 – Quitting (or never starting) indoor tanning can help you live longer. 

By choosing not to tan, you reduce your risk of getting many types of skin cancer, including melanoma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if no one younger than 18 years of age ever used a tanning bed, we could prevent about 61,839 melanoma cases and 6,735 deaths due to melanoma.


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