this month, the Food and Drug Administration proposed steps to
prevent the use of indoor tanning beds. They want to restrict
usage to people 18 years of age and older, and they want
tanning bed manufacturers and facilities to ramp up safety
measures. The FDA reports that their goal is to protect young
people from skin cancer, as well as other dangers such as eye
Clinic dermatologist Dr. Jerry Brewer says legislature to
decrease tanning bed use would be a good thing.
is never a good idea, and more people develop skin cancer
because of tanning than those who develop lung cancer because
of smoking," he said. "In fact, some sources feel
that just one session in a tanning bed can increase the
chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent."
is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and Brewer says,
"in melanoma cases occurring in young people between 18
and 29 years old, 76 percent can be attributed to tanning
beds." According to the FDA, 1.6 million minors use
tanning beds, and the negative effects can add up over time.
addition to proposing age limits on indoor tanning use, the
FDA also wants to make them safer for adults who choose to use
them. Those safety measures include:
requirement that adults sign a document acknowledging they
know the risks
Easier to see warning labels
obvious stop or "panic button"
Improved eye protection
Brewer says the best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid
indoor tanning beds and exposure to sunlight.
sunscreen daily with SPF of 15 or greater
Supplement sun screens with hats, sun glasses and sun wear
Reapply sun screen if youre out in the sun for long periods
one does develop skin cancer, the best thing to do is to catch
it as early as possible. So doing skin self-exams on a monthly
basis at home and seeing a dermatologist for a yearly checkup
can increase the chances of catching skin cancer early and