What Are the Risks of Indoor Tanning?
Skin Cancer Care Specialists | April 1, 2019
In preparation for the summer months, many will want to get a “base tan” in a tanning bed before they bring out their shorts, tank tops, and other more skin revealing summer clothes. However, lying in a tanning bed is a mistake that may lead to serious health issues, the top one being skin cancer.
While skin cancer does not discriminate and can occur on anyone, there are some people that are at greater risk because of the following characteristics:
- Blonde or red hair
- Green or blue eyes
- A naturally lighter skin tone
- A family history of skin cancer
- Previously had skin cancer
Whether you have any of the above characteristics or not, it is important to have a daily sun protection routine to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV rays). Using a tanning bed exposes the skin to direct and elevated levels of UV radiation. These UV rays trigger the skin to produce more melanin, the pigment that colors the skin, to move towards the outer layers which is where the tan comes from. While a tan may be aesthetically pleasing to some, the darker pigmentation is actually your skin’s response to injury. Over time, the prolonged exposure to the tanning beds UV rays can cause cataracts, cancers of the eye, skin cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas, and melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Besides avoiding the tanning bed and direct exposure to the sun for long periods of time, you should also do regular self-checks as well as schedule annual skin exams with your doctor. Dr. Weisberg is a fellowship trained Mohs surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of skin lesions including basal and squamous cell carcinoma and has treated over 26,000 skin cancers. To schedule a skin cancer screening with Dr. Weisberg please contact our office at 561-775-6011.