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The Dangerous Truths of Indoor Tanning

by kelly / January, 6 2016 01:30

Indoor tanning bed© Whatsername?

Recently at a party I overheard a friend say they needed to head to a tanning salon to get some winter color. It almost gave me a heart attack. Ok, I may be exaggerating but my heart really did break. Hearing someone say that might be the worst thing I could hear and more importantly, it's one of the worst things you can do for your skin. It causes premature aging and even skin cancer. Just say NO to indoor tanning!

What Is Indoor Tanning

Indoor tanning includes beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc. that use artificial lights to emit UVA and UVB radiation. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):

"The amount of the radiation produced during indoor tanning is similar to the sun, and in some cases might be stronger."

Why Is Indoor Tanning Bad: Skin Cancer

Indoor tanning exposes people to high levels of UV radiation. In turn, UV radiation causes skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. According to the Melanoma Research Foundation:

"90% of melanomas are estimated to be caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure"

In addition, a 2009 study conducted by The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer classified tanning devices into their highest cancer risk category - carcinogenic to humans. This is the same category the WHO uses for hazardous substances such as plutonium and radium. That's intense and kind of scary.

Plus, all major health organizations are against indoor tanning - the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Skin Cancer Foundation, Melanoma Research Foundation and American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) are all opposed.

Further, it's not just cancer you need to be worried about, indoor tanning according to the CDC:

  • Causes premature skin aging, like wrinkles and age spots
  • Changes your skin texture
  • Increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used

Falsehoods of Indoor Tanning

There are those, especially the tanning industry, that will say there are "benefits" to tanning. These so-called "benefits" are harmful and false - here's why:

False "Benefits"The Truth
Indoor Tanning is Safer than Outdoor Tanning Tanning indoor or outdoor is not good for the skin. Tanning is a response by the body to injury from UV rays.

Indoor tanning is more dangerous because it often exposes the skin to high levels of UV radiation in a short time.
Base Tans are Safe Base tans do not add a layer of protection from future UV damage. Any tan is a sign of skin damage.
Indoor Tanning is a Safe Way to Get Vitamin D According to the CDC and Melanoma Research Foundation indoor tanning is not a safe way to get Vitamin D.

The best way to get it is through a healthy diet or vitamin supplement.

I know I've sounded like a Negative Nancy throughout this post but there are no niceties or beating around the bush when it comes to this. Indoor tanning is dangerous, that's the truth.

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