Bad sun burns cause a higher risk for skin cancer than getting a light tan in a bed or in the sun. The tanning bed is no riskier than hours in the sun, it just happens faster and needs to be used carefully.
Hitting the tanning bed a few times before a cruise has almost eliminated my 100% sure chance of burning on the cruise.
When I first started cruising I needed to tan 3 times a week for 6 weeks before the cruise to make any difference but now I just tan 3-4 times over the entire 6 weeks before the cruise and I don't burn.
Found this, why ask for trouble?
Risks of indoor tanning
The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency of Research on Cancer panel has declared ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, as a known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).6
Indoor tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources, including beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc., emits UVA and UVB radiation. The amount of the radiation produced during indoor tanning is similar to the sun, and in some cases might be stronger.7,8
Studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning.9,10
Evidence from several studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.1,2,10-11
Studies have demonstrated that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning damages the DNA in the skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma. 1,12-15
In addition to the above mentioned risks, frequeent, intentional exposure to UV light may lead to an addiction to tanning.16
Indoor tanning beds/lamps should be avoided and should not be used to obtain vitamin D because UV radiation from indoor tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer. Vitamin D can be obtained by a eating a healthy diet and by taking oral supplements.
In a recent survey of adolescent tanning bed users, it was found that about 58 percent had burns due to frequent exposure to indoor tanning beds/lamps.17
The FDA estimates that there are about 3,000 hospital emergency room cases a year due to indoor tanning bed and lamp exposure.18
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