Sunlamps and Tanning Beds

 tanningThe following information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  cautions about the use of sunlamps and tanning beds; a practice a number of people, especially teens, choose to do despite warnings about the increased risk of skin cancer.


Sunlamps and Tanning Beds

Sunlamps and tanning beds give off UV rays just like the sun. Tanning beds can be as dangerous as tanning outdoors. They may be more dangerous than the sun because they can be used at any time . They can also be more dangerous because people can expose their entire bodies at each session, which would be difficult to do outdoors.

The FDA and the National Cancer Institute recommend avoiding tanning beds.

• All tanning beds put you at higher risk of skin cancer.

• NCI reports that women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The FDA has standards for sunlamp products. All sunlamp products must have:

• a warning label

• an accurate timer

• an emergency stop control

• an exposure schedule

• protective goggles

Some people do things that make tanning beds even more dangerous, like:

• Not wearing goggles or wearing goggles that are loose or cracked.

• Staying in the bed for the maximum time that is listed on the label.

• Staying in the bed longer than recommended for your skin type. Check the label for exposure times.

• Using medicines or cosmetics that make you more sensitive to UV rays. Check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

What are “sunless” tanning products?

• Sunless tanning products are cosmetics that make the skin look tanned.

• Most of these products do not have sunscreen, so you still need to use sunscreen.

• If you go to a spray-on sunless tanning booth, ask for protection to keep from breathing in the spray. Keep it out of your mouth, eyes, and lips.

• FDA has not approved any tanning pills. These pills can have bad side effects such as nausea, cramping, diarrhea, severe itching, and welts. Tanning pills also may cause yellow patches inside your eyes and affect your eyesight.

• Some lotions and pills claim to make you tan faster. There is no proof that these work. “Tanning accelerators” are not approved by the FDA.

Source: FDA Office of Women’s Health




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