Using a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp to get tan is called indoor tanning. Indoor tanning is a major public health problem, accounting for nearly half a million new cancer diagnoses each year. According to the CDC, Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays while indoor tanning can cause skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. UV exposure also can cause cataracts and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma). UV exposure from the sun and from indoor tanning is classified as a human carcinogen (causes cancer in humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) and by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Facts About Indoor Tanning
- Tanning indoors is not safer than tanning in the sun
- A base tan is not a safe tan
- Indoor tanning is not a safe way to get vitamin D
Several different types of studies have shown consistently that indoor tanning increases a person’s risk of getting skin cancer, including melanoma.