Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery, Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery & Laser Surgery

The Dangers of Indoor Tanning

Summer is over and winter is almost here, meaning that the sun will be out even less in the coming months. With bikini season over, many teenage girls and young women are turning to indoor tanning beds to maintain their summer glow. Some may think they look more attractive and healthy with a tan, but the reality is that exposing their skin to harmful UV rays, whether from the sun or indoor tanning, causes serious damage that can make them extremely unhealthy and age prematurely.

A young girl laying down in a tanning bed, blue from the light

A consumer update by the FDA reports the serious repercussions of using indoor tanning beds. According to the update, people who use indoor tanning beds are 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, compared to those who don’t use the beds, and the risk increases with use. A special article published earlier this year in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, stated that high-pressure tanning units may emit 10 to 15 times the dose of UV-A rays than the dose emitted by the sun midday. The lamps used in tanning beds can also be more dangerous than sunlight because they can be used at the same intensity all year, whereas the sun’s intensity varies depending on the weather and time of year. The FDA is proposing changes that would make the regulation of sunlamp products more strict, including premarket review, performance testing, and warnings against the use of them by minors.

The FDA also warns that exposure to UV radiation can cause eye damage, skin burns, and premature aging of the skin. Those who are concerned about having bronzed skin now will have more wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots later if they continue to expose their skin to this dangerous radiation. In addition, they will not only have more signs of aging, but these signs will appear sooner than if they had refrained from tanning. The choice to stay away from UV rays now will help keep your skin looking youthful and beautiful.

As an alternative to indoor tanning beds, we suggest trying spray tans or self-tanning lotions to achieve a truly healthy glow. With the winter and cold weather approaching, lotion that has bronzing qualities will work double time to keep your skin moisturized and glowing. Also, don’t forget that your skin is still being exposed to UV radiation even when the sun is behind the clouds. Be sure to use a moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF of 15 or higher every day, rain or shine, on your face, neck, hands, and any other area of your body that is exposed to the sun.

If your skin is already experiencing signs of sun damage, Skin Physicians & Surgeons has several treatment options to restore beautiful, healthy skin. We offer skin cancer examinations, skin cancer surgery, as well as nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, such as fractional laser treatment, to minimize wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, sun spots, and other signs of aging. Please call (909) 981-8929 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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