Doctors are increasingly attempting to get the word out about how dangerous it can be to tan indoors. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed rules that would place stricter regulations on these indoor tanning salons and beds, and states have also gotten in on the act. 33 states limit a minor’s ability to access salons, while five ban minors entirely.
A recent study reinforces the idea that these regulations may be important. A full 33% of white high school females tan at a salon. That research, though, which was featured in an issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, has drawn the ire of the American Suntanning Association. They said that focusing campaigns on this demographic is misguided and that all ages must be taken into consideration when promoting the prevention of sunburn.
Many skin health advocates would no doubt dispute this assertion by the organization, especially in light of studies which have found younger populations seeing an increase in melanoma rates of 3% between 1992 and 2004. Artificial and natural tanning could be to blame.
The Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System’s Dermatology Chief points out that skin cancer can be prevented, but he worries about teens’ propensity to continue to tan indoors and outdoors despite the risks. He explains that peer pressure could make an impact on their decision to do so, despite the warnings provided to the demographic.