People of all ages: pay attention! The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required that the manufacturers of sunlamp products – including tanning beds – “carry a visible black-box warning on the device that explicitly states that the sunlamp product should not be used on persons under the age of 18 years.” The FDA news release describing the requirement in full detail is entitled, FDA to Require Warning on Sunlamp Products, and was published on May 29, 2014. According to the release, sunlamp products include tanning beds, tanning booths, and any others sunlamp products that emit UV radiation that may cause skin cancer.
While the warning is directed at individuals under the age of 18, it should be heeded by people of all ages. According to the FDA news release, the American Academy of Dermatology has stated that people who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning experience a 59 percent increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer – and the risk increases every time they use a sunlamp product.
The American Academy of Dermatology has extensive information published on its website regarding tanning beds, who tends to use them, and many of the risks associated with them.
Following are some of the facts reported by the AAD regarding indoor tanning:
- More than 1 million people use tanning salons in the United States each day.
- Most people who use tanning beds are Caucasian girls and women aged 16-29.
- Close to 30 million people use tanning beds in tanning salons in the United States each year – and more than 2 million of them are teenagers.
The Skin Cancer Foundation states the following about tanning salons: No matter what you may hear at tanning salons, the cumulative damage caused by UV radiation can lead to premature skin aging (wrinkles, lax skin, brown spots, and more), as well as skin cancer. In fact, indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.
No matter if you are a teenager or an adult, it’s important to realize the dangers of utilizing tanning beds or sunlamp products that emit UV radiation. Your risk of developing skin cancer – including melanoma – can be greatly reduced by limiting or eliminating your exposure to UV radiation. There are much safer alternatives if your goal is to have skin that appears tan. Self-tanning creams are readily available and do not expose your skin to dangerous radiation. For more information about the best self-tanning creams available on the market, talk to your dermatologist. There are definitely ways to keep your skin safe, reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, and achieve the golden skin tone that you want!