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Tanning Beds Can Cause Cancer

Finally!  [H/T to]

After surgery I am often asked, “When can I get back in the tanning bed?”  I say something like, “I would rather you not use a tanning bed.  You need to protect you new scar from the sun, that includes tanning beds, for at least 6 months.”

“But, if I cover up the scar, when can I get back in the tanning bed?” is the usual response.

I then counter with, “IF you feel you must, then yes cover the scars.  Please, limit or reduce the time you spend in the tanning bed.  I would rather you not use a tanning bed.”

Most see “no harm” in using a tanning bed.  After all, it’s not like laying out in the sun for hours.  Too many see tanning beds as a “safe” way to get a tan.  It isn’t.

Experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, have published their analysis of 20 studies online in the medical journal Lancet Oncology.  The analysis concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30.

These same experts have moved tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming both to be as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas.  The new classification also puts them in the list of definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.

I would not mind tanning bed extinction.  Regular use increased the risk of melanoma.  It is much better to have a “peaches and cream” complexion or to use self-tanning creams.  Skin cancer is no fun.

Related posts:

Sun Protection (March 19, 2009)

Melanoma Review (February 25, 2008)

Skin Cancer—Melanoma (December 8, 2008)

Melanoma Skin Screening Is Important (April 29, 2009)

Skin Cancer — Basal Cell Carcinoma (December 3, 2008)

Skin Cancer – Squamous Cell Carcinoma (December 4, 2008)

Moles Should Not Be Treated by Lasers (July 27, 2009)

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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