Indoor tanning ‘increases skin cancer risk in teens’

24 June 2014

Exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation lamps used for indoor tanning at a young age is linked to an increased risk of developing basal cell carcinomas (BCC), according to a new study from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre.

Researchers claim the findings highlight the importance of explaining the risks of sun beds to teenagers.

The study involved 657 participants who had been diagnosed with BCC - a form of skin cancer - and 452 controls. A higher proportion of those with skin cancer reported using indoor tanning beds compared to those without the disease.

In addition, participants with BCC were more likely to burn rather than tan during the first hour of sun exposure in the summer, compared to the controls. 

The association with indoor tanning was stronger for tumours located on the torso - which occurred in 40 per cent of the BCC patients.

According to the study, sunbeds can produce up to 15 times more UV radiation than the midday sun.

Dr Margaret Karagas, lead author of the study, commented: "Our findings suggest that teens and young adults who seek indoor tanning may be especially vulnerable to developing BCC, the most common form of skin cancer, at a young age.”

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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