Teens Warned About Tanning Risks

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics says indoor tanning beds are a hazard to children and adolescents. They also say adolescents should be discouraged from using them, because the intensity of ultraviolet radiation for tanning lights is much greater than sunlight, and is harmful. Use of tanning beds increases the risk of developing melanoma by 74 percent, according to a study from last year.

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It can spread quickly to organs and bones, sometimes leading to death. An estimated 8,700 deaths were due to melanoma in America for the year 2010. Indoor tanning for teens appears to be most popular with teenage girls.

A misconception about the unnecessary and harmful practice is that it can build up a “pre-tan” before going on a sun-filled vacation and offer protection. Burning one’s skin with a very intense artificial light source before getting overexposed to sunlight is merely damaging the skin twice, however. It also leads to a false sense of security, where one believes the artificial tan is sufficient and there is no need for real protection like sunscreen, sunblock, protective clothing, and limiting the amount of time in the sun.

One needn’t be paranoid about sun exposure, but being informed properly and taking adequate measures can go a long way towards preventing skin cancer, and premature aging of the skin. Even though we now live in the Information Age, and there is widespread access to an abundance of consumer health content, the number of skin cancer cases is increasing.

“Attitudes about tanning are no different, as studies have shown that even though people know that overexposure to ultraviolet light can lead to skin cancer, they still tan. We need young people to realize that tanning for cosmetic reasons now will ultimately negatively affect their appearance later and even increase their risk for skin cancer,” said Dr. Coldiron from the University of Cincinatti. (Source: Sciencedaily.com)

The American Academy of Pediatrics is a leading health organization providing advice on children’s health. They are one of the largest publishers of children’s health educational materials in the world.

Image Credit: Evil Erin

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Samantha Shira
Samantha Shira5 years ago

vanity at its finest.

Tara C.
Tara C6 years ago

How can you say the sun is so bad when people used to spend so much more time outside and get more sun and there was so much less cancer? It doesn't add up. Sun gives you Vitamin D too and that's why they used to get rickets all the time. Now there's D added to the milk and the soy and rice drinks and we don't get rickets as much, but we still need to spend a healthy amount of time outdoors in the sun. The sun isn't nearly as bad as you think. Tanning beds are artificial and wrong, but the sun is good and something we need. You can't live without it. Be grateful for the sun before you tell everybody about how bad it is.

Tara C.
Tara C6 years ago

Sunlight is good for you. Anything in excess is bad. Don't get too much sun, but don't get too little either. It you don't get enough sun you can get colon cancer. Sunlight is also good for your mood. That's why depression is a problem in northern countries. Tanning beds are bad but the sun is good. Sunscreen and sunblock also can cause skin cancer instead of preventing it. Yes, don't spend all day and all year in the sun but you can't anyway. Don't worry about getting tan - what matters is getting the right, healthy amount of sun.

Patrick Whyte
Patrick Whyte6 years ago


Liny T.
Liny T.7 years ago


John S.
Past Member 7 years ago

No one under the age of 18 should use a tanning bed.

kenneth m.
kenneth m7 years ago

It's so clear to me the sun is causing cancer the sun in all your towns and countries
Sun beds are not strong enough. But the sun outside is

ru A.
ru A.7 years ago

of possible interest here is www.spferr.com a site launce yesterday by young photojournalist from detroit who aims to promote awareness and in time provide support for younge people like herself caught up in the battle against melanomas. - in her case it was her mum. Site includes some horrible photos plenty of info ( lots more comming) and a request that people activly promote awareness of the risks and and take a stance against sunbeds.

Fareena Narine
Fareena Narine7 years ago

Don't have to tan in a tropical country but really good information thanks

Julianna D.
Juliana D7 years ago