Having a perfect, golden tan for the summer sounds nice, but you might want to think twice before using another tanning bed, tanning booth, or sun lamp. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun exposure is a primary cause of skin cancer, which affects millions of Americans each year and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early. In addition to putting your health at risk, sun excess exposure causes extensive skin damage and visible premature aging, leading to the development of wrinkles, dark spots, and a leathery skin texture. Contrary to the common misconception, any dermatologist in Naples or elsewhere will agree that artificial tanning from man-made sources also emits UV radiation and is actually no safer than going outside in direct sunlight.
With national Skin Cancer Awareness Month behind us and summer ahead, our Skin Wellness Physicians team wants to remind patients of some alarming facts about indoor tanning:
UV rays can permanently damage skin cells’ DNA, causing them to mutate and grow abnormally. While there are several factors that increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer, UV exposure is a critical one.
The use of tanning beds for high school students and young adults is said to significantly increase the risk of various types of skin cancer—including melanoma, the deadliest type. Many state governments have prohibited the use of tanning beds for minors.
Some people believe that tanning beds are a healthier option because they allow users to control the amount of UV exposure they receive. The reality is that indoor tanning can sometimes be even more harmful, as the beds give off much more intense and destructive UVA rays than what you would receive on a sunny day.
That said, actual sunlight contains UVB radiation in addition to UVA. UVB is the radiation that causes sunburns, and having multiple severe sunburns when young can significantly increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Building up a base tan at a tanning salon won’t stop you from becoming sunburned in the future.
Learn more about sun protection strategies to protect yourself and loved ones from skin cancer. Talk to board-certified dermatologist at Skin Wellness Physicians by calling (239) 732-0044 or fill out a contact form to request a consultation in Naples or Marco Island.