A new study has revealed that indoor tanners aren’t taking the necessary precautions to ward off skin cancer, also known as melanoma. These tanners often don’t use appropriate sunscreen, nor do they go for skin cancer screening. The study reviewed data collected from a 2015 federal government survey, which included over 10,200 white adults with no prior history of skin cancer.
Of the respondents, 7% reported that they have used indoor tanning beds in the last year, 3.6% had done so one to nine times, and 3.4% have indoor tanned over 10 times.
Not only was indoor tanning associated with less frequent use of sunscreen, sun-protective clothing, and being covered by shade when outdoors, but it was also associated with a higher degree of sunburns. The biggest culprits of these habits were those from the ages of 18 to 34. Furthermore, women who indoor tanned were also more likely to report multiple sunburns compared to women who did not tan in beds. The same trends were seen among men as well.
Lastly, indoor tanners were no more likely to have themselves screened for skin cancer compared to non-indoor tanners.
Study author Alexander Fischer and colleagues explained, “These results demonstrate that many individuals who tan indoors may not acknowledge the long-term risks associated with increased UV exposure.
The study authors concluded, “Thus, these findings highlight the importance of not only emphasizing avoidance of indoor tanning in public health messages and physician communication, but also reiterating the need for sun protection and skin cancer screening in this population.”
It is very important than both indoor and outdoor tanners practice sun-safety tips to ensure they reduce their risk of sunburns and skin cancer. Skin cancer may begin as a dark spot on the skin. If you notice any new spots, you should see your doctor to have it checked out.
“Indoor tanners aren’t taking precautions against skin cancer,” Health Day web site, https://consumer.healthday.com/cancer-information-5/sunburn-and-tan-health-news-647/indoor-tanning-sun-safety-jama-derm-release-batch-2908-715733.html, last accessed October 13, 2016.
Fischer, A. H., “Association of Indoor Tanning Frequency with Risky Sun Protection Practices and Skin Cancer Screening,” JAMA Dermatology, http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2565799, last accessed October 13, 2016.