More than a quarter of a million cases of skin cancer can be attributed to tanning-bed use, according to a new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. That figure is for 2015, when the total skin cancer cases numbered about 2.4 million.
And another new study shows that some skin cancer survivors actually use tanning beds.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota surveyed more than 700 survivors of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) and found that about 2 percent had used a tanning bed. What’s more, 38 percent of melanoma survivors did not often or always wear sunscreen, and 20 percent reported getting sunburned in the past year.
Though these numbers aren’t high, consider that having been diagnosed with melanoma gives you a ninefold increased risk of developing a second cancer, says Consumer Reports.
What’s So Bad About Tanning Beds?
Ultraviolet radiation has been classified by the World Health Organization as a carcinogen – and getting your UV rays from a tanning bed may be even more toxic than getting them from the sun.
“Most tanning beds deliver fewer burning UVB rays, but they provide a much more concentrated dose of UVA radiation than the sun,” says Joel Cohen, M.D., a Denver-based dermatologist who serves on the teaching faculty for the University of Colorado and the University of California at Irvine. UVA rays don’t cause burning; the damage they do is less immediately obvious. According to Consumer Reports, these rays penetrate deeply into the skin and accelerate age-related skin…
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