Skin Cancer – Should I Use a Tanning Device?

Skin Cancer – Should I Use a Tanning Device?

In the UK, the incidence of a skin cancer (melanoma) has doubled every ten years. Although the tan is still felt to be a sign of beauty and health, consider fake rather than indoor tanning devices.

In 2001, there were 6432 new cases registered in England and Wales and last year there were more than 8,900 new cases registered.

Indoor tanning devices have been thought to increase the risk for skin cancers and should be avoided. This has been confirmed in multiple studies. It is thought that the device used and the amount of tanning undergone, will contribute to the risk of skin cancer and that although devices may vary in risk, all devices including UVB are not safe.

No device is safe!

In general, skin cancer (melanoma) risk increased with use, especially in the presence of other risk factors such as skin colour (fair skinned especially with freckles or moles), family history of melanoma, routine sun exposure, outdoor activity sun exposure, outdoor job exposure, mean sunscreen use, and number of lifetime painful sunburns.

UK Guidelines: You should see your doctor if
• a new mole which is growing quickly
• a long-standing mole which is changing progressively in shape or colour regardless of age
• any mole which has three or more colours or has lost its symmetry
• any new nodule which is growing and is pigmented or vascular in appearance
• something growing under a nail
• a mole which has changed in appearance and which is also itching or bleeding.

There is no national screening programme in the UK for skin cancers – however you could visit your GP/practice nurse for advice and to have a quick look at your skin.

Skin Cancer – Should I Use a Tanning Device?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *