U.S. dermatologists say 30 million people aren’t getting the message that tanning beds are dangerous to their health.
In a 2005 survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, 92 percent of the respondents understood that getting a tan from the sun is dangerous, but 65 percent said they think they look better when they have a tan.
Almost 30 million people in the United States visit indoor tanning salons each year — most of them Caucasian girls and women between the ages of 16 and 49 — an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported.
Indoor tanning is simply not safe, said dermatologist James M. Spencer, one of the authors of the article. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control showed that there were 700 emergency room visits because of injuries like sunburns, infections and eye damage from tanning bed use.
An elevated skin cancer risk is one of the most serious side effects of indoor tanning. A study reviewed by the panel found that regular tanning bed use was associated with a 55 percent increase in the risk of developing melanoma, especially in women between the ages of 20 and 29.