Dangers of Tanning Beds

When people think of summer, many people immediately think of hot days, beaches, and tanned skin. Although having a tan is often portrayed in a positive light, from a dermatologist’s perspective, tanned skin equals damaged skin cells that could potentially lead to melanoma, the most severe type of skin cancer. One popular yet dangerous practice that mostly young women choose are tanning beds. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, over 70% of teens and college students use tanning beds.

Here are the top risks for this dangerous practice:

  • Tanning bed equipment emits both ultraviolet A and B radiations, which have been declared to be carcinogenic.
  • Use of tanning beds dramatically increases your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Those under 35 who use tanning beds increase their risk of melanoma by 59%, which increases with each use.
  • Tanning destroys the skin’s DNA, which can also lead to premature aging and changes in skin color, tone, and elasticity. Excessive UV radiation can also cause eye problems such as cataracts.
  • Using tanning beds or lamps to obtain vitamin D is dangerous and ineffective. Instead, use oral supplements and maintain a healthy diet to obtain sufficient vitamin D levels.

Prevent damage to the skin cells by using broad-spectrum SPF of at least 15 on all areas exposed to the sun. Using protective clothing, sunglasses, hats, and staying in the shade are all ways to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing your skin health. If you notice any abnormalities in your skin, hair, or nails or suspect skin cancer, see an experienced board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology. Dr. Vaillant has over 30 years of experience in treating a wide range of dermatological issues, including acne, dandruff, skin cancer, fungal infections, rashes, and dermatitis. Contact our office in Old Bridge at (732) 679-0222 to schedule an appointment today!