According to the American Academy of Dermatology and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds, booths and sun lamps are known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning has been proven to increase the risk of all skin cancers, including melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas. In fact, the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent when indoor tanning devices are used before the age of 30. The UV radiation also leads to skin aging, hyper – and hypopigmentation, immune suppression and eye damage, such as cataracts.
The CDC states that Indoor tanning exposes users to two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB, which damage the skin and can lead to cancer. Its particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of getting melanoma. This may be due to greater use among those who begin at earlier ages.
Every time you tan you increase your risk of getting skin cancer, including melanoma. Indoor tanning also—
- Causes premature skin aging, like wrinkles and age spots.
- Changes your skin texture.
- Increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used.
A base tan is not a safe tan. A tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays. A base tan does little to protect you from future damage to your skin caused by UV exposure. In fact, people who indoor tan are more likely to report getting sunburned.
Indoor tanning is not a safe way to get vitamin D. Although it is important to get enough vitamin D, the safest way to do so is through what you eat. Tanning harms your skin, and the amount of UV exposure you need to get enough vitamin D is hard to measure because it is different for every person and also varies with the weather, latitude, altitude, and more.
Therefore, the use of tanning beds, booths and sun lamps is not recommended by dermatologists.