Since the mid-eighties, the steady growth in the popularity of tanning beds led to what is today a multi-billion dollar industry. Today, over a million people daily subject their bodies to tanning beds, in order to have that tanned look the year around.
However, at the present time, skin cancer is the number one occurring cancer in the United States, with over a million new incidences every year. It is a well publicized fact that the UV family of tanning and burning rays can cause cancer. Tanning beds capture and use the magic of the UV family of rays to tan your body. Is it possible there may be a correlation to the explosion of the use of tanning beds, and skin cancer?
According to various studies by the World Health Organization, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Dermatology, the answer to that question is a resounding yes:
• No matter the intensity, or whatever else you may read or be told, the UV family of rays can cause cancer, whether they come from the sun, sunlamps, or tanning beds. Even if you only use a tanning bed occasionally, it has the same effect on your skin as sunburn.
• If you subject your body to a tanning bed only every now and then, you increase your chances of melanoma by 300 percent. If your use is more than ten times a year, your chances of melanoma increase by 800 percent.
• Studies show the younger your age when you begin using tanning beds, the greater your chance for melanoma. If you use tanning beds before age 35, your chances of melanoma increase by 75 percent.
The number one protection against the ravages of skin cancer is to not expose yourself to any more UV rays than necessary. In addition, if you must expose yourself to UV rays take precautions. If you are exposed to the sun, use sunscreen, wear clothing that minimizes your bodies’ exposure to the sun, and periodically seek shade to let your body cool down. In addition, think twice before using a tanning bed.
The prevention of ninety percent of skin cancers revolves around protecting yourself against the damage caused by UV rays. Whether it’s abstinence from tanning beds, or protective devises, do it.
Dr. Hema Sundaram: The Dangers of Tanning Beds: Five Fast Facts: http://www.healthcentral.com/skin-care/c/75934/24339/beds-fast-facts
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