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Tanning Before 30 Triples Skin Cancer Risk

Tanned golden skin is seen as beautiful and healthy, so many fair-skinned ladies and gents use indoor tanning beds to get a quick sun-kissed glow. We've all heard that UV exposure from this fake sun can lead to skin cancer, but now new research has identified tanning as even more dangerous than first thought. International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, saying they are as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. They add that anyone who's started toasting at the electric beach before the age of 30 has increased their risk for skin cancer by 75 percent. Tanning bed users are also at risk for eye cancer.

Previously, skin cancer rates were highest in people over 75, but now doctors are seeing more and more cases in women in their 20s. It's not just tanning beds you have to worry about, it's UV radiation from the sun too. So if you want a tan, go for bronzers, sunless self-tanning lotion, or spray tans. They'll give you the glow without the risk. If you do enjoy being out in the Summer sun, just protect yourself with sunscreen.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
imLissy imLissy 8 years
Yes, let's not tell people how bad tanning is, and discourage them from tanning even though it may kill them, because tanning helps the economy. We shouldn't tell people cigarettes are bad either. The tobacco companies may suffer.
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
oh, forgot to add, as if we didn't already know how harmful it was. There are always signs everywhere about 'tanning at your own risk' or whatever. I know so many bed addicts though, its scary. Most of them already have had moles removed, most non cancerous, but still scary.
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
I love tanning... I haven't used a bed in a few months because theres nothing like the real thing, but I love being out in the sun, even with SPF I still get a decent tan...the way I see it, you're going to die anyway, why not enjoy your life if thats your thing. Plus, its really crappy for them to release that info during a recession... so many tanning salons where I live will most likely go out of business now... maybe the government wants us to continue to be in a recession.
aeschere aeschere 8 years
i use a tanning bed after years and years of being unhappy with being pale and disappointed with all the self tanners out there (and believe me, i tried. real tanning was my last choice) so i go maybe twice a week for 16 minutes. i'm not out in the sun other than that very often and i wear sunscreen when i do. also i have derm checks and do my own skin checks. i know it's bad, but it makes me happier. i'll be as careful as i can, and i know there's a chance that i can do everything right and i'd still get cancer... this is true for anyone.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I can't tan...I just burn and peel. So I use self-tanners if I want to have some color. I don't avoid the sun completely, but I do have to be careful if I'm out for any extended period of time.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
drwilliamhcool, thank you for making me laugh. i was having a rotten day :)
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Lately I've been getting really paranoid about all of the tanning - both sunbed and natural sun - that I did when I was younger. Heck, I still love laying in the sun to a certain extent.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
nice that we know this study now - after i've been tanning for years. granted i stopped tanning quite a few years ago, but there was a period of time that it was my means to get a nice golden color. oh well. let's just hope that i'm taking good care of myself now to counter act the ill effects that i may have faced before.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 8 years
i know so many young women and teenagers who tan and don't seem to care about the risks. One person i know says "we live in SoCal if you are not tan you look out of place".
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
For anybody who has ever used tanning beds or made it a habit of laying out in the sun, I cannot stress enough the importance of annual skin cancer screenings with a dermatologist. It just may save your life!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
I used to love the tanning bed when I was in my early 20's. Then I had to have a mole removed that appeared suddenly on my back. Although it came back negative for cancer, it was enough to scare me from tanning. Now I'm so pale and self tanners just look orange on my pale skin. But at least I stopped early enough that I don't have the wrinkles and skin damage that my friends have from the tanning beds.
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