Another Tanning Bed Risk Confirmed

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There are approximately 19,000 indoor tanning businesses. Despite the known dangers of indoor tanning, people continue to subject themselves in the name of bronze skin.

New research brings even more tanning bad risks forward. Indoor tanning has been a known risk factor for malignant melanoma, the less common but deadliest form of skin cancer. A new study is now confirming that indoor tanning increases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers significantly. Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common type of skin cancers. 

The researchers estimate that more than 170,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancers each year are a result of indoor tanning, with even more worldwide. Furthermore, the researchers reported that young people who frequent tanning salons before turning 25 have a higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma compared to those who have never used a tanning booth.

The study looked at both early life exposure and regular use of tanning beds. Compared to people who never tanned indoors, those who exposed themselves to tanning beds had a 67 percent higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma and a 29 percent higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.

“The numbers are striking—hundreds of thousands of cancers each year are attributed to tanning beds,’’ says Eleni Linos, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at UCSF and senior author of the study. “This creates a huge opportunity for cancer prevention.’’

Government officials in the U.S. and overseas are increasingly restricting and regulating indoor tanning. Brazil has completely banned tanning beds and Australia and Europe have banned tanning beds for children and teenagers.