As I wrote yesterday I’m pretty much obsessed with skincare so why I choose to tan indoors during the winter makes absolutely NO sense at all. I was thinking about the irony of trying to keep my skin looking while tanning indoors…to me both are completely necessary as it is to most Floridian women! How do I balance this I ask myself? There is no healthy way to tan at all, unless of course you use those ridiculous spray tans that NEVER look the same as a real tan! Although I know I am going to pay for this later my thinking is this…Tan just a few times a week and you will be okay, but of course I know different. I will give you a few facts on indoor tanning instead of just ranting about how much I love it and try and justify it to myself daily…LOL!
Who Tans Indoors?
- On an average day in the United States, more than 1 million people tan in tanning salons.
- Nearly 70 percent of tanning salon patrons are Caucasian girls and women, primarily aged 16 to 29 years.
- Nearly 28 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens.
- The indoor tanning industry has an estimated revenue of $5 billion, a fivefold increase from 1992.
Risks of Indoor Tanning
- The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the International Agency of Research on Cancer panel has declared ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, as a known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).
- Indoor tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources, including beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc., emits UVA and UVB radiation. The amount of the radiation produced during indoor tanning is similar to the sun, and in some cases might be stronger.
- A Swedish study presents strong evidence that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning increases the risk of melanoma, especially when a user is exposed at an early age.
- Evidence from several studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
- A review of seven studies found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who had been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning before the age of 35.
- Studies have demonstrated that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning damages the DNA in the skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma.
- Indoor tanning beds/lamps should be avoided and should not be used to obtain vitamin D because UV radiation from indoor tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer. Vitamin D can be obtained by a eating a healthy diet and by taking oral supplements.
- In a recent survey of adolescent tanning bed users, it was found that about 58 percent had burns due to frequent exposure to indoor tanning beds/lamps.
- The FDA estimates that there are about 3,000 hospital emergency room cases a year due to indoor tanning bed and lamp exposure.