Using a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp to get tan is called "indoor tanning." Indoor tanning has been linked with skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), squamous cell carcinoma, and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma).
Indoor tanning exposes users to both UV-A and UV-B rays, which damage the skin and can lead to cancer. Using a tanning bed is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma. Using tanning beds also increases the risk of wrinkles and eye damage, and changes skin texture.
Indoor tanning and tanning outside are both dangerous. Although tanning beds operate on a timer, the exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can vary based on the age and type of light bulbs. You can still get a burn from tanning indoors, and even a tan indicates damage to your skin. Tanning beds cause about 1,800 injuries requiring visits to the emergency room every year.
A tan is a response to injury: skin cells respond to damage from UV rays by producing more pigment. The best way to protect your skin from the sun is by using these tips for skin cancer prevention.these tips for skin cancer prevention.
Vitamin D is important for bone health, but studies showing links between vitamin D and other health conditions are inconsistent. Although it is important to get enough vitamin D, the safest way is through diet or supplements. Tanning harms your skin, and the amount of time spent tanning to get enough vitamin D varies from person to person.
In the United States, indoor tanning is estimated to cause about 419,000 cases of skin cancer every year. For comparison, smoking is thought to cause about 226,000 cases of lung cancer every year.
According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, the following proportions of youth report indoor tanning—
According to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, indoor tanners tended to be young, non-Hispanic white women.
Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 has 20 cancer objectives, including—
Indoor tanning is restricted in some areas, especially for minors.