Indoor tanning and cancer risk

Today we will talk about skin tanning.

What is it? How common is it? And if there is any bad effect of tanning?

Tanning is process used to darken skin color. Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure from sun or artificial sources cause skin color to darken. If you see western movies, tanning is shown in different form. Sunbath, which was once very popular was used by many to tan their skin by using the UV light of sun. Another form of tanning is also popular called artificial tanning, in which people get their skin tanned by lying in a tanning bed fixed with fluorescent lamps that emit UV light.

Recently scientific studies are revealing that tanning produces a lot of cancer producing substances (referred as carcinogens), alike tobacco. Various types of skin cancer can happen due to skin tanning. What is most surprising that no matter you tan by sunbath or using a artificial tanning chamber at home, your risk for skin cancer persists. Indoor tanning can also cause skin burns. Furthermore, it may damage your skin by introducing changes like ageing or wrinkles.

To understand the seriousness of indoor tanning read an excerpt from a report recently published in Reuters about indoor Tanning:

Younger people, however, were more likely to be actively indoor tanning with about 43 percent of college students and about 18 percent of teens reporting use in the past year. That compared to about 14 percent of adults.

In all age groups, women were more likely to report indoor tanning use.

The researchers estimated that about 419,000 cases of basal and squamous cell carcinoma and almost 11,000 cases of melanoma each year are attributable to indoor tanning.

For perspective, they point out in JAMA Dermatology, about 363,000 cases of lung cancer are attributable to smoking each year in the same countries included in the study.

While people are much more likely to die from lung cancer than most skin cancers, people don’t appreciate the costs of those skin cancers, said Brenda Cartmel, a cancer prevention expert from the Yale Cancer Center and the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut.

via Indoor tanning common in Western countries: study | Reuters.

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