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Tanning Beds & UV Rays Increase Risk of Skin Cancer

There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan. Tanning, whether indoors or outdoors, increases your risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are highly curable, they can be disfiguring and costly to treat. Melanoma is more dangerous and can cause death.

Exposure to UV Rays

Most people get at least some UV exposure when they spend time outdoors. Reducing your exposure can help keep your skin healthy and reduce your chances of getting skin cancer. Make sun protection a daily habit to protect your skin and lower your skin cancer risk. Indoor tanning also exposes users to high levels of UV radiation for the purpose of getting a tan. This intentional exposure should be put to a halt or never begun to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Using tanning beds before the age of 30 can increase your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.


Melanoma and other skin cancers vary from person to person, but if a spot on your skin fits the following descriptions, talk to your doctor right away. 

  • A new spot or a change in color, shape, or size of a current spot
  • A mole that becomes itchy or begins to bleed
  • A flat, red spot that is rough, dry, or scaly
  • A spot, sore, or mole that doesn’t heal and becomes painful or tender

Not all skin cancers or melanomas fall into these categories, but this can be used as a guideline.

Indoor Tanning

Indoor tanning can affect your life in multiple ways. It is associated with skin cancers, cancer of the eye known as ocular melanoma, cataracts and other potentially blinding eye diseases, premature aging, and immune system suppression. A tan is actually your skin’s response to injury, as your skin cells have been hurt by UV rays. Any change in skin color after UV exposure is a sign of injury, not health. 

Overall, pay attention to your skin and know what is normal for you. Check your skin thoroughly, including places that never see the sun. This may include your scalp, bottoms of your feet, and between your fingers. Bring any mole or lesion to your dermatologist’s attention right away.

Premier Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

For the past three decades, Premier Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery has been Delaware’s practice of choice in skin and aesthetic services. Our goal is to address all of your skincare needs under one roof by integrating medical, cosmetic, surgical and aesthetic expertise with the highest standards of care and compassion. We are able to provide a comprehensive approach utilizing our different but complementary training backgrounds, philosophies, and techniques, to achieve premier results. Our dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians work collaboratively to integrate treatment plans that help you look and feel your best.


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