There’s a lot of debate surrounding tanning beds and cancer. Some people believe that they’re completely safe, while others think that there’s a real risk involved. So, what’s the truth? Do tanning beds cause cancer?
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Cancer is a complex disease that can be caused by a variety of things, including exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. UV radiation is a known human carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in the US each year. These cancers usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. But they can also occur on other parts of the body, including the legs, trunk (chest and back), and even the soles of your feet.
What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning beds and sunlamps. People who get a lot of exposure to UV radiation are more likely to develop skin cancer.
How does UV radiation cause cancer?
UV radiation is a type of energy that comes from the sun and artificial sources like tanning beds. UV radiation can damage the DNA in our cells. When DNA is damaged, it can lead to cancer.
Exposure to UV radiation is the main cause of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Each year, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer because of tanning than any other cancer.
Tanning beds give off both UVA and UVB rays, which are both harmful to your skin. Just one indoor tanning session can increase your risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 20%.
Tanning also causes other types of skin damage, such as premature aging and wrinkles.
What is the link between tanning beds and cancer?
Mounting evidence suggests that there is a link between tanning beds and cancer. A study published in the journal Cancer found that people who used tanning beds were 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than those who did not use them.
Another study, this one published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that people who began using tanning beds before the age of 35 increased their risk of developing melanoma by nearly 90 percent.
So what is the link between tanning beds and cancer? UV radiation from tanning beds damages the DNA in skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer. The risk of developing melanoma goes up with the number of times you use a tanning bed and the length of time you use it each time.
The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of tanning beds is to avoid them altogether. If you must use one, make sure to follow all safety guidelines and limit your exposure as much as possible.
Are tanning beds safe?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some experts say that there is no evidence to suggest that tanning beds cause cancer, while others say that there is not enough information to make a definitive statement. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified tanning beds as “carcinogenic to humans”, based on their review of the evidence. However, this does not necessarily mean that all tanning bed use will result in cancer. The risk of developing cancer from using a tanning bed may be higher for some people than others, depending on individual factors such as skin type, length of time spent in the bed, and frequency of use. If you are concerned about the potential risks of using a tanning bed, you should speak with your doctor or another health care professional.
Are there any risks associated with using tanning beds?
There is no denying that a tan can make you look and feel great. However, there is growing evidence that suggests that using tanning beds may increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, people who use tanning beds are 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than those who do not use them.
Tanning beds emit both UVA and UVB rays, which can damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified UVB rays as carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans, and UVA rays as “probably carcinogenic” to humans.
If you must use a tanning bed, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use one that emits mostly UVA rays, wear protective eyewear, and limit your exposure time.
How can I protect myself from the risks of tanning beds?
The best way to protect yourself from the risks of tanning beds is to avoid them altogether. If you must use a tanning bed, follow these tips:
-Wear protective eyewear.
-Limit your exposure time.
-Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
-Avoid tanning bed use if you are pregnant.
-Avoid tanning bed use if you have a history of skin cancer.
What are some alternative ways to get a tan?
There is no safe way to get a tan. The best way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is to avoid prolonged exposure and to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. But sometimes, you just want a little color. If you insist on getting a “base tan” before hitting the beach or lying out by the pool, consider one of these alternatives to traditional tanning beds.
Sunless Tanning Lotions and Sprays
These products contain ingredients that react with the proteins in your skin to produce a browning effect. They range in strength from very light (which will give you only a hint of color) to very dark (which can give you an extreme “fake-tan” look). Be sure to follow the directions carefully and wash your hands thoroughly after applying sunless tanner, so that you don’t end up with streaks or uneven patches of color.
Gradual Sun Tanning Lotions
These lotions contain lower levels of sunscreen than traditional products, so they allow your skin to slowly darken over time without burning. They typically come in two forms: one that you apply like lotion and another that you mist on like spray. Again, be sure to follow the directions carefully and reapply often if you are spending extended periods of time in the sun.
Tanning pills work by increasing the production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. They are not FDA-regulated, so there is no way to know for sure if they are safe or effective. Some people who have used them have reported side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches and dizziness.
Although the evidence is not definitive, there is enough concern that it’s prudent to avoid tanning beds. If you do use them, take precautions to reduce your risk, such as using the lowest possible setting and avoiding prolonged exposure.