Indoor Tanning and Increased Chance Of Cancer

In a 2011 survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, 32 percent of white women under the age of 30 visited a tanning parlor in the previous year. Of those, 8 percent laid down in a tanning bed weekly. Young women who are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation are the ones that are visiting these indoor tanning salons the most frequently. Indoor tanning has been linked to the development of melanoma, which is the most dangerous forms of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are also two other types of associated skin cancers, however, they are not as dangerous and occur more often in older patients.
Indoor tanning exposes the skin to both UVA and UVB rays, which are two different wavelengths naturally emitted from the sun. People who are younger than the age of 35 and begin tanning in either the sun or in a tanning bed, are at a 75 percent higher risk of melanoma than those who abstain. There is a common misconception that indoor tanning is safer than outdoor tanning because there is the illusion of control. They believe because they’re in a tanning bed they’ll avoid getting burned and therefore aren’t doing damage to their skin. However, developing a tan without a burn is the skin’s response to injury. Skin cells respond to damage from UV rays by producing more pigment.

Dr. Rokhsar is a trained Mohs micrographic surgeon, who specializes in recognizing atypical skin growths and treatment of skin cancer. There are many ways to spot a suspicious skin growth, such as an asymmetrical, discolored bump that has developed overtime. Birthmarks and moles are also cause for suspicion and need to be biopsied and tested for cancerous cells.

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