Skin cancer is one of the fastest growing types of cancer. People who live in rainy climates are just as susceptible to it as people who live elsewhere – due in part to the number of tanning bed salons that are located in almost every city and town. Doctors and researchers blame indoor tanning beds as one of the most common culprits for skin cancer and other conditions that damage the skin. Unfortunately, skin cancer cases have been on the rise for the last 30 years, which has also coincided with an increase of people using indoor beds.
Although people think getting a tan is pleasing on the eyes, it is actually very bad for the skin. In fact, people who tan before the age of 35 are at a greater risk of developing the deadliest form of skin caner, melanoma, than those who don’t tan. That deep bronze shade might seem like a good color, but is it worth the risks associated with it? After all, cancer is a life threatening and very painful condition that often requires surgery and chemotherapy – neither of which are easy treatments. Reducing your risk of developing it is as easy as staying away from UV lights and protecting your skin in the sunlight.
In recent years, lawmakers and the medical community have tried to do more than just educate the public regarding the dangers of indoor beds. For example, there are many states within the U.S. that require parental permission for using them for people under the age of 18, or prohibit it completely for those younger than 14. Great Britain has actually enacted a law that bans people younger than 18 from using indoor tanning facilities. But what about the millions of people who are 18 and over that tan on a regular basis? This behavior, and the risks that are associated with it, are actually a public health concern and can only be addressed through awareness and education. This is why the FDA has issued statements that would require warnings on tanning beds. The FDA warning on beds are aimed at decreasing the number of teenagers who use them, in hopes that the alarming cases of melanoma will decrease.