Facts About Indoor Tanning and Skin Cancer

We’ve heard time and time again how dangerous it is with indoor tanning. But what are the facts about indoor tanning and skin cancer? Is it really that bad? Here is information on what you need to know to stay aware of the dangers.

Is a healthy glow really healthy?

Like many others, I wanted to have a “healthy glow.” I’ve always been pale without a tan, so I tanned outdoors growing up. Back then, we didn’t know the risks. As I got older, I found that tanning indoors was a luxury must-have.

The problem is that any signs of tanning are also signs of skin damage. Whether it’s a sunburn or a slow and steady glow you get, your skin is being attacked. As stated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the tan you get is a direct reaction to the damage. What happens is when you’re exposed to UV rays you typically get darker. But what that means is your skin is going into a self-defense mode. It produces melanin, the element that makes you appear darker, in order to fight off the UV rays.

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Of course, we all now know that tanning of any kind leads to skin that looks prematurely older. But in many cases, it also leads to skin cancer.

Why indoor tanning is risky

There are quite a few reasons indoor tanning is risky. In fact, it was found that the UV rays from indoor tanning devices were more dangerous than tanning in the sun. One of the reasons is that while you can choose the time spent in the tanning bed or booth, the lamps are always at the same high intensity. The sun varies in intensity depending on what time of day it is, where you are at, cloud coverage, and what time of year it is. With a tanning bed or booth, it’s like full-on sun every time you use it.

And even though you may be comfortable in your tanning booth or bed with the air conditioning running, sometimes that leads to a false sense of security. In the sun, once you get too hot you probably go indoors. With a tanning device, it is specifically made with your comfort in mind. Most even have music to listen to. This leads many to overuse.

Of course, there are limits with a tanning booth or bed. You choose the time you wish to stay, and it shuts off after that. But that doesn’t protect you any more than if you timed it yourself, since you choose the limits. This is one of the reasons you can only tan once in a 24-hour period.

The facts about indoor tanning and skin cancer

Hopefully these facts help you make the right decision in not using a tanning booth or bed. It can lead to skin cancer - even melanoma skin cancer. There are many options that are safe, like using a tanning spray. Most tanning salons offer those too. And while they’re temporary, it means your skin is safer from UV rays.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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