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Indoor Tanning is Toxic, Too

May 28, 2010 at 11:08 am , by

Not convinced that indoor tanning is dangerous? Better take a look at the findings of this brand-new, large-scale study in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that people who’ve tanned indoors are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer) than those who’ve stayed away from tanning beds. Their findings add to mounting evidence that there’s nothing pretty about indoor tanning.

Want to learn more about skin cancer, tanning and its risks? Check out the first article in our three-part series on skin cancer.

Previous research demonstrated a weak link between tanning beds and melanoma. But this study establishes a much firmer association, supporting what many dermatologists have long suspected: Indoor tanning, regardless of what type of device used, increases your risk for melanoma. In fact, using high-speed/high-intensity devices doubles your risk; high-pressure devices can quadruple it. Moreover, the more you use tanning beds (whether measured in hours, sessions or years), the greater your risk. The FDA is so concerned, it’s considering a ban on their use among teens.

So are tanning beds worse than sun exposure? It’s unclear, but you can burn from both. “The real take-home message is that UV radiation, regardless of its source, is harmful,” says lead researcher DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D.

Not convinced that pale is beautiful? Try our favorite sun-less tanners.

Photo courtesy Evil Erin