We have lots of patients that use tanning beds. Especially in sunny Southern California, many like the idea of being bronzed year round. What many young consumers do not realize though is just how damaging tanning beds can be for your skin. A division of the WHO (World Health Org.) called IARC (Intl. Agency for Research on Cancer) officially lists UV radiation-emitting tanning devices (tanning beds/lamps) as one of the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation. In fact, for many states and countries, tanning salons are restricted to those only over 18 yrs of age. For those under 18, they requiring in-person, written parental consent and/or a physician prescription.
Tanning beds offer more risk than traditional sun bathing. Research has shown that the risk of melanoma increases by 75% when tanning beds are used before the age of thirty. In addition, Dermatology groups now list photo-damage (sun and tanning beds) as the number one contributing factor to the aging process.
Lori Haney, RN MEPC
Medical Laser Safety Officer