February 2017 - E-Bulletin
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Indoor Tanning is an
Absolute No-No

This January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report detailing the cancerous effects of indoor tanning. Whether a sun lamp or tanning bed, the report says that indoor tanning "can cause skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. UV exposure also can cause cataracts and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma). 

In addition to the CDC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services both classify UV exposure from the sun AND from indoor tanning as a "human carcinogen," meaning it causes cancer in humans.

Indoor tanning poses many dangers beyond skin cancer as well, including premature skin aging, like wrinkles and spots, changes to your skin's texture, and it increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used. And adolescents and young adults who use indoor tanning - to get a "base tan" for spring break or a wedding, for example - have a higher risk of getting melanoma.

To dispel some myths: Tanning indoors is NOT safer than tanning in the sun. A base tan is NOT a safe tan. It is NOT a safe way to get Vitamin D.

Fortunately, there have been many studies across the United States, Europe and Australia since around 2010 on the hazards of tanning indoors. As a result of these studies, many states and cities have already banned indoor tanning by minors younger than 18 years of age. Additionally Healthy People, an organization providing science-based 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans, has included 20 cancer objectives to their list, including:

  • Reduce the proportion of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who report indoor tanning to 14.0%
  • Reduce the proportion of adults aged 18 years and older who report indoor tanning to 3.6%

Click HERE to read the full CDC report. And remember, "Have fun in the sun, but protect yourself!"

Dr. Coldiron


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Dr. Brett Coldiron
To Tan or Not to Tan
Tanning outdoors is bad, but indoor tanning is worse!

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