Are tanning beds in moderation, are they safer than tanning beds, and what is the link to skin cancer?

The promise of a constant tan is too tempting for some to turn down.

But while going to a tanning bed store may seem harmless, people using tanning beds should be aware of the risks.

How dangerous are tanning beds?


How dangerous are tanning beds?Credit: Stockbyte – Getty

According to the World Health Organization, about 10% of the Nordic population uses tanning beds regularly.

Some people use them for years on end, accumulating the risk of serious illness.

We are here to give you information about sunbeds and whether they are safe to use.

Are tanning beds bad for you?

In short: yes, they can be.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tanning beds are as dangerous as smoking.

Like the sun, they emit harmful UV rays that damage the DNA in your skin cells.

Over time, this can lead to malignancy melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – studies have shown.

Are they linked to skin cancer?

Yes, many organizations say so.

According to International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)There is substantial evidence that the use of tanning beds causes melanoma.

They report that sunbeds increase the risk of skin cancer by up to 20% and also say they have no positive benefits for our health.

Cancer Research responded to this statistic, adding that “there is no such thing as a safe tan from UV radiation”.

One study found that tanning beds can almost double the risk of cancer compared with never using them – with women having an 83% higher risk of developing the disease.

While some people think tanning beds are safer than sitting in the midday sun, according to Cancer ResearchThe risk was still twice as high when compared to spending the same amount of time in the Mediterranean sun at lunchtime.

The Sunbed Association insists there is not enough evidence to link sunbed use with melanoma, adding: “It’s over-exposure and burn that would increase the risk of skin cancer, not from UV exposure. “

But the WHO said: “The vast majority of tanneries provide inadequate advice to their customers.

“The use of eye protection such as goggles or sunglasses is a must.

“However, because people use tanning beds for an even tan, they often decide not to protect any part of their body.”

Referring to the link with skin cancer, world health experts added: “Tanning beds for the purpose of self-tanning have been around for the last two decades and due to their prolonged existence for skin cancer and eye damage So far it has been difficult to demonstrate any long-term effects on health.

“Although the cause of melanoma is not fully understood, tumor growth appears to be related to occasional exposure to intense sunlight.

“Tank beds expose users to constant UVA and UVB radiation – this can provide an ideal environment for the development of melanoma skin cancer.

“However, several epidemiological studies that have been performed to date have not provided any consistent results.”

Despite the WHO’s cautious stance on the link to skin cancer, the organization discourages the use of tanning beds, quoting one expert as saying the use of tanning rooms is “like an experiment”. industrial-scale radiation exposure”.

What other effects are there?

Regardless of skin cancer, tanning beds don’t just pose a long-term health risk.

Users have reported a variety of short-term symptoms including itching, dryness and redness of the skin, freckles, and sensitivity to light.

Common long-term outcomes, especially in Caucasians, can include blistering of the skin.

Sagging and wrinkling Skin almost certainly pays for those who spend a lot of time in the sun, says the World Health Organization – not quite the outcome you’d expect from going to the sun shop for a beautiful look. , youthful.

Who should avoid tanning beds at all costs?

WHO has expressed concern that “about 40% of UK tanning bed users have fair skin”.

People with fair skin, among other characteristics, are those with the highest risk of skin cancer.

The NHS says you shouldn’t use tanning beds, sunlamps or tanning booths if you:

  • have fair or sensitive skin
  • have a history of sunburn (especially in childhood)
  • have red hair and freckles
  • have many moles
  • are taking any creams or medicines that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun
  • have a health condition that may be made worse by sunlight
  • Ever had skin cancer?
  • got sunburned

In 2010, the Sunbeds (Regulations) Act made it illegal for people under the age of 18 to use tanning beds. It is an offense for anyone to operate a tanning bed if they provide tanning services to people under the age of 18.

Our Dying For A Tan Campaign

The Sun’s Fabulous has launched the Dying For A Tan campaign to raise awareness of the dangers associated with the use of tanning beds.

It tells the stories of women who have lost an eye to cancer, have huge holes in their skin and look decades older than their age – all from lying under the shower bed. sunny.

“It’s really important that people understand the dangers of tanning.” said a spokesperson for the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD).

“The truth is that a tan is a sign of damaged skin.

“The idea that tanned skin looks both healthy and attractive needs to be challenged.

“However, this is difficult because we have developed a cultural obsession with tanning, one that is constantly pervasive through social media, television and the internet.” Are tanning beds in moderation, are they safer than tanning beds, and what is the link to skin cancer?

Fry Electronics Team

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