A Third of All Americans Has Used Tanning Beds, Increasing The Risk of Skin Cancer


Tanning bed increase cancer risksAccording to a new study, it is known that more than a third of all American citizens, and even nearly six out of 10 U.S. university students, have at least once used indoor tanning. This result is quit surprising given that fact that these devices are known to increase the risks of skin cancer.

The research it self was conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. This study was quite large as the researchers analyzed data from 88 surveys that involved a total of more than 406,000 people in three continents which are the United States, Europe and Australia.

The researchers discovered that about 36 percent of the citizens living in the three continents had used indoor tanning in their lifetime. From the total amount, there are about 55 percent of university students and 19 percent of teens.

Based on the study data, it is known that in America alone, the number of people who said they had used a tanning bed was 35 percent. When seeing the data for college students, the number even increased to 59 percent. While the study also found that 17 percent of adolescents in the United States and Canada admitted that they had already been to a tanning salon.

The numbers were lower when Americans were asked if they had patronized indoor tanning within the past 12 months. In that case, 13 percent of adults, 43 percent of university students and 10 percent of adolescents had used indoor tanning, according to the study, which was published online Jan. 29 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

“Exposure to indoor tanning is common in Western countries, especially among young persons,” said the researchers, led by UCSF’s Mackenzie Wehner.

Two skin cancer experts said the numbers are disheartening, since ultraviolet light exposure from indoor tanning is known to cause skin cancer.

“It is appalling how often exposure to indoor tanning takes place in presumably educated populations and particularly worrisome that we allow adolescents to be exposed to this carcinogen,” said Dr. Mark Lebwohl, chairman of the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“We must do a much better job at educating people of all ages about the risks of indoor tanning,” said Lebwohl, who also is acting president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed.

“Over 1 million people visit tanning salons each day in the United States,” she said. “Sadly, the majority of these are young girls and teens. Greater resources and studies are needed to help educate, and to decrease the use of tanning salons and help change the sentiment that a tanned look is more beautiful.”