About Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer

Tanning beds and skin cancer bring much controversy. Within all the debate there seems to be an absence of unbiased, objective opinions.

Opinions about …do tanning beds cause skin cancer and …are there any safe tanning beds?

The tanning bed industry claims that tanning beds are safe and do no harm, while the medical association takes the stance that they are dangerous and cause skin cancer/melanoma.

Most people choose who they want to believe according to what they want to do.

Unfortunately that's overwhelming a bad decision.

It may be that the young lady who yearns for that healthy dark glow ends up with melanoma as a result of her decision.

Or it may be that a person misses out on some excellent health benefits for following the advice given by their dermatologist.

Actually the truth lies somewhere in the middle and can be found by some research and common sense.

Let's go ahead and take an honest look.

Tanning beds and skin cancer ...a danger?

Squamous cell carcinoma - possibly from overexposre to ultraviolet rays in tanning beds or unsafe tanning beds
Melanoma - can be from overexposre in a safe tanning bed or an unsafe tanning bed

Safe tanning beds come with a certain risk, while unsafe tanning beds come with even more risks.

When a person overexposes in a tanning bed, the danger is higher in an unsafe tanning bed than one branded as safe.

An unsafe tanning bed, such as most of those commercially made are poorly equipped and as a result give out two more types of radiation other than ultraviolet rays.

These two other types are X-rays and Electromagnetic Field. Read more here

These additional types of radiation pose a health threat.

Ultraviolet radiation and the risk of overexposure

Safe tanning beds provide ultraviolet radiation as does the sun.

The only danger, as with the sun, is overexposure to these rays.

Just as the sun provides the ability for your body to produce vitamin D, so can a safe tanning bed.

It doesn’t take any more than a 10-20 minute exposure for it to be enough. Beyond that, your body has received all the vitamin D benefit that it will and damage to your skin begins.

If you are a person with a high skin cancer risk factor, you would be wise to avoid tanning beds completely and take vitamin D supplements, as well as eat vitamin D rich foods for your nutritional needs.

In a nutshell

  • In the midst of controversy, relax your own research and form your own honest opinion. If you don't feel comfortable with it, do it again.
  • Consider your skin cancer risk and the fact that you could be tanning in a poorly equipped unsafe tanning bed, thus increasing your danger. Even if it's considered a safe tanning bed, you may be spending too much time, too often.
  • The common problem with tanning beds and skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet radiation that should be controlled by the user.

Eat healthy, live healthy for more resilience against all disease.

Links related to Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer:

Skin Cancer Causes
Family History
Are Tanning Beds Safe
Effects of Tanning Beds
Negative Effects of Tanning Beds
Ultraviolet Radiation
Causes of Melanoma
Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation

Go from Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer to What Causes Skin Cancer


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Updated July 1, 2015


Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick

Read more of Nick's Story

Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly

Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie  

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Bottom Line
The Weather Channel has done well posting this information and photos to help you spot skin cancer, including melanoma.
It can be hard to spot, even for a professional.
The bottom line is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If necessary, get a second opinion  and/or request a biopsy. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t put your very life at risk!