Are Tanning Beds Bad?

The simple answer seems to typically be yes. Many people that obtain skin cancer are guilty of frequently going tanning. I also do know several people that tan weekly but have not gotten skin cancer. So is there a true correlation? Tanning artificially indoors is a current trend that is influenced by social media and television. People tend to feel more attractive when their skin is sun kissed. Makeup and skin products are sold for the sole purpose of darkening skin too. Is becoming tan in order to boost confidence truly worth it though? Most scientists would most likely say no.

According to the American Osteopathic Association, there will be about 9800 deaths from skin cancer within the year. I am also aware that it is the most common cancers in the United States. People are dying every day, so can this cancer be prevented or avoided?

The Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology documented statistics from New Mexico comparing risk of skin cancer in relation to ethnicity. Non-Hispanic whites were 5-10 times higher to get skintanning-beds cancer than Hispanic-whites with darker skin. However, the light skin doesn’t appear to be the determining factor because in China and Singapore, incidence of skin cancer is lower than that in the US. (Armstrong) In China and Singapore though, tanning and darker skin is not as appealing as it is in the US. Indoor tanning tends to be more popular in Northern countries, in areas with less sun. It is in these countries that skin cancer is more prominent. A study done in Sweden showed that more than 50% of its female participants under 24 years old have already artificially tanned.
The relationship between tanning and skin cancer cannot be a coincidence or due to chance, because meta-analyses have been conducted in order to further validate various experimental trials that showed the link between the two variables. Epidemiological testing also supports the fact that one’s risk for getting cancer (melanoma and other skin cancers) is increased from using tanning beds. It also appears to be most risky to use tanning beds at an age younger than 40. (Dore)

There have also been other negative consequences faced by people using tanning beds such as skin fragility, blistering, and eye problems. (Swerdlow) There is no official risk percentage that you sign up for when you go tanning, however you are definitely taking one when you choose to do so. Science can prove that UV rays can cause skin cancers, but there is no simple answer as to whether you will get cancer or not.

Although it is not proven or guaranteed that if you go tanning you will get cancer, it would be a smart idea to stay away. Artificial tanning in adolescents should be avoided at all costs to reduce risk. There are many other alternatives to using tanning beds also, such as spray tanning, bronzers, and lotions. Until it is truly determined how dangerous tanning is, I would not suggest it!


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1 thought on “Are Tanning Beds Bad?

  1. Arianna L Del Valle

    Skin color is determined by a person’s exposure to UV radiation. This is an evolutionary trait, and people’s skin colors are what they need to be depending on the region they’re in. This is why as humans get closer to the Equator, their skin color tends to be darker. Honestly, the intentional alteration of skin color through the use of tanning beds is dangerous, because people are manipulating their skin into producing more melanin, which they don’t really need. This article explains melanin production in humans and why this happens ( I can see why tanning beds are considered dangerous, you’re changing your body unnecessarily in the hopes of becoming more attractive!

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