Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tanning Beds May Be More Likely to Cause Skin Cancer Than Previously Believed

According to a new study.
Indoor tanning beds may be even more likely to cause skin cancer than previously believed.

New research published online Oct. 6 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology suggests that the main type of ultraviolet rays used in tanning beds -- UVA1 -- may penetrate to a deep layer of skin that is most vulnerable to the cancer-causing changes caused by UV rays.

The new study comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers banning the use of tanning beds among children under 18. The American Academy of Pediatrics is on record that it supports such a ban.

"Indoor tanning is like smoking for your skin," said Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "It's the single worst thing you can do in terms of skin cancer and premature aging."

Many indoor tanning salons advertise that tanning beds can help boost the body's production of vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin because skin makes it when exposed to the sun's rays. "This is nonsense and an excuse," Day said. "We know people burn in tanning beds and that UVA and UVB are toxic."

Teens are particularly vulnerable, she said. "They are immortal in their mind, and skin cancer and aging seem a long ways away." Melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer, "is not an old person's disease," she said. The new study provides "a little bit more muscle in helping to warn people about the dangers of tanning, but an FDA ban is what we need," she added.

"I do think there should be legislation on sunbed use under 18 years of age," said Young, who added that such use is already prohibited in England.
I have used inner tanning beds when I was younger and noticed a whole bunch of precancerous skin lesions. One was in fact skin cancer, a squamous carcinoma, behind my left ear and I had it surgically removed. I waited a nervous week for the biosy report and the margins of the lesion were clear.

No more tanning beds for me.

I, now use judicious applications of sunscreen for outdoors and say NO to indoor tanning beds.

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