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What the Yuck: How risky are tanning salons?
May 13th, 2011
03:59 PM ET

What the Yuck: How risky are tanning salons?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: How risky is just one visit to a tanning salon?

It's risky all right. Here's why: Skin cancer is on the rise in women under 50, and the use of tanning beds is partly to blame. While most research has examined people who visit them regularly (once a week, for example), some studies show that even a single session makes you 2.5 times more likely to get squamous cell skin cancer and 1.5 times more likely to get basal cell skin cancer, the two most common forms of the disease.

Going for a base tan before a tropical vacation might sound reasonable, but the protection this gives you is equivalent to using an SPF of 3. Not worth the risk. Instead, achieve a faux glow the safe way: Self-tanning products and cosmetic spray tans are more goof-proof than ever - and they're risk-free.

Also, be sure to schedule regular skin-checks with your dermatologist, especially if you've frequented tanning salons (or have a history of bathing under real rays). She'll be able to spy a changing mole before it becomes a bigger problem.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011


soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. TheSharon

    one good alternative is to use self tanning lotions. a product that ive been using this year that allows me to get a good "on the beach" like tan is Unique Excellence. it has anti aging ingredients, which helps my rejuvenate my skin. its been a really effective product that i highly recommend. its http://www.uniqueexcellence.com

    May 13, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Commensensedotorg

    It is comments like these that insult the average "thinking" American.

    With all do respect Dr. Roshini, you cant possibly expect the public to believe that slathering yourself with cosmetic man made products is "risk-free" and healthier than getting a natural tan in moderation. Sounds like a cosmetic SPF manufacturer wrote this article. JS'n

    "some studies show that even a single session makes you 2.5 times more likely to get squamous cell skin cancer and 1.5 times more likely to get basal cell skin cancer, the two most common forms of the disease."

    May 14, 2011 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Goran "Thetanningguru.com"

    There is a risk with everything done in excess. Having regular, moderate and non-burning tan all year around is nothing but healthy for most people. The life-essential hormone, Vitamin D, is naturally produced in our skin when we let UVB-rays to have access to it (i.e. when we are not blocking UV with sunscreen lotions). Provide your skin with good moisture and antioxidants, and you can keep it smooth and wrinkle-free even in age.
    There is NO increase in the mortality of melanoma, but there is an increase in the diagnoses. There is although a real increase in the mortality of other types of cancers (skin-cancer comes faaar down on the list of deadly cancers) due to wide-spread Vitamin D deficiency. Interesting enough is that the increase in sales of sun-protection lotions follows almost exactly the increase of diagnosed skin-cancer cases. See this video for more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_CrPZLbkE8

    May 14, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Monique Mcdermett

    I love to go in tanning salons because i am always conscious about my tan. Going to tanning Salons have been my habit nowadays. '".,

    My current web page
    http://www.melatoninfaq.com/melatonin-side-effects/

    October 6, 2012 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Clark Hulick

    I always go on tanning salons once and a while. .

    <a href="Most up-to-date write-up on our very own web-site
    http://www.homeimprovementstuffs.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetable-storage/

    November 25, 2012 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.