Is Indoor Tanning Safe?

“Indoor tanning” is using a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp to get tanned. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), indoor tanning has been linked with skin cancers including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma).

Dangers of Indoor Tanning

It has been scientifically proven that indoor tanning exposes users to both UV-A and UV-B rays, which damage the skin and can lead to cancer.  Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is on the rise, particularly in women between the ages of  25-32.  Both the frequency of tanning and age at which you start tanning affects your risk of melanoma.
People who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma. Using tanning beds also increases the risk of wrinkles, eye damage, and prematurely ages the skin.

Indoor Tanning Myths

“Tanning indoors is safer than tanning in the sun.”

Don’t believe the hype, indoor tanning and tanning outside are both dangerous. Although tanning beds operate on a timer, the exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can vary based on the age and type of light bulbs in a tanning bed. You can still get a burn from tanning indoors, and even a tan indicates damage to your skin. Tanning beds cause about 1,800 injuries a year that requires visits to the emergency room.

“I can use a tanning bed to get a base tan, which will protect me from getting a sunburn.”