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Indoor Tanning – The Ugly Truth

skin cancer prevention | Gerogia Dermatology Center

Keep your skin healthy and become a shade lover!

Has someone told you that indoor tanning is safe because it’s not really like the sun? The truth is that it’s just like sun tanning because your skin is also exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays and that’s what causes most skin cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who tan early in life (before age 35) have a 59% higher risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Indoor tanning is especially popular among young people because they think it’s safe since they are indoors instead of out in the sun. UV rays cause damage to your skin no matter where you are exposed – indoor tanning or sitting on the beach.

Are you under 35? If you think you will have young beautiful skin forever, and that having a tan is attractive and sexy, you better think again. You are 59% at higher risk of getting melanoma. Even if that statistic doesn’t scare you or you get lucky and don’t get skin cancer, you are going to cause your skin to age prematurely resulting in facial wrinkles, lines, rashes and brown spots.

Dr. Alexander Gross knows well the ugly truth about indoor tanning. He has treated many patients for skin cancer who have used tanning beds in the past. He felt so strongly that he was influential in drafting and lobbying for the Georgia Indoor Tanning Act, passed in 2011.

Have you heard that indoor tanning can give you a good base tan and protect against sunburn? Or that controlled tanning is safe because you can control the level of exposure to UV rays. Both of these statements are completely false. Indoor tanning exposes you to harmful UV rays that damage your skin. You increase your chance of developing melanoma through indoor tanning. Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women between 20 and 29.

Protect Yourself

  • Use sun block every day. Even if it’s not sunny, you can benefit from the extra moisturizer.
  • Don’t use a tanning bed or sunlamp. The damage is permanent and can contribute to wrinkles and even worse – melanoma skin cancer and even death.
  • Cover up when you are out in the sun – wear a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves.
  • Become a shade lover! Going to the pool late in the day is really more fun!

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