Indoor tanning raises cancer risk before 50
A new study has found that people who use indoor tanning devices may have an increased risk of developing skin cancer before the age of 50, particularly those who begin before age 20.
Scientists at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College analyzed data on 657 people with basal cell carcinoma (BCC)—the most common form of skin cancer—between ages 25 and 50, and 452 people in the same age range without skin cancer. About 46 percent of the people with BCC said they had used an indoor tanning device, such as a sunlamp, tanning bed or tanning booth, at some point in their lives, compared with 36 percent of the participants without BBC. Additionally, about 41 percent of the participants with BCC reported having had at least 20 painful sunburns in their life, compared with 29 percent of the participants without BCC.
The study’s findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggest that the link between indoor tanning and skin cancer is particularly strong in young people, researchers said. They added that other factors could have affected the study's outcome, but that adolescents need to be educated about the dangers of indoor tanning.