WIDESPREAD USE OF INDOOR TANNING BY ADULTS

Age is no guarantee of wisdom

(Archives of Dermatology 12/2010) More than 30 MILLION people use tanning beds in the U.S. each year despite the fact that the World Health Organization has designated tanning beds as cancer causing. Researchers have suggested that the increasing incidence of Melanoma and non-Melanoma skin cancers is due to the use of tanning beds, especially in young people.

 

More women than men used tanning beds, and women persisted using them into their 50′s, and men into their 40′s. Regular sunscreen use was inversely associated with the use of tanning beds among women but not men. People who used artificial tanners were also more likely to use tanning beds. Only 13.3% of women and 4.2% of men believed that avoiding tanning would reduce skin cancer. These surprising findings indicate that tanning bed use is still prevalent among adults. Fewer than 1 in 7 women and 1 in 19 men even believed that tanning beds could cause cancer!!

 

We must increase our efforts to inform adults and young people about the cancer risks of tanning beds and dispel the notion of their benefits (such as increasing Vitamin D, and providing a protective “base” tan- -please see DO TANS PROTECT?). WHY INCLUDE THIS BORING ARTICLE NOW??- BECAUSE LAST WEEK WE DIAGNOSED AN ADVANCED STAGE MELANOMA IN A YOUNG WOMAN WHO ISN’T EVEN 21 YRS OLD, AND WHO WAS ADDICTED TO TANNING BEDS. IF WE CAN PREVENT THIS IN EVEN ONE MORE PERSON, IT IS A BLESSING.