The Dangers of Tanning
Do you use the tanning bed?
Do you lie out in the sun to get a tan?
Do you ever tan before vacation to get a “base tan”?
First, both natural and artificial tanning sources cause skin damage through ultraviolet (UV) radiation that leads to an increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Second, there is no “safe tan”. All visible tan on the skin is direct evidence of UV-induced skin damage that increases the risk of skin cancer. A “base tan” is still a tan that carries this increased risk and has been shown not to prevent or decrease sunburns, anyway.
Still thinking of tanning?
Here are some stats:
-Even ONE single indoor tanning session before age 35 increases your risk of developing melanoma, a potentially life-threatening skin cancer, by 75%.
-Someone who has ever tanned indoors has an 83% increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma and a 29% increased risk of basal cell carcinoma.
-More people develop skin cancer because of indoor tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.
If you don’t care about the potential skin cancer, think of the skin aging.
Tanning causes visible UV damage that manifests as wrinkles, brown sun spots, and weathered, leathery skin.
Who wants that?
Remember to avoid all artificial UV exposure and protect from the sun’s rays as much as possible.
Seek shade, wear UPF protective clothing and hats, and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Sunscreen needs to be applied in a sufficient amount (about a shot glass amount for the body) and reapplied every 90 minutes while in the sun or after swimming, sweating, or toweling.
Be sure to report any new, growing, changing, or otherwise concerning lesions or spots on the skin to Dr. Wilkerson. Stop using indoor tanning beds or lying out in the sun. Your life may depend on it.
Contact us today for a skin cancer screening appointment or more information about UV protection.
At Fort Lauderdale Dermatology, Dr. Wilkerson is available for same-day.
*Statistics from skincancer.org