According to a recent report, 18.1 percent of women and 6.3 percent of men tanned indoors in the past 12 months. Furthermore, in this Archives of Dermatology study of 2,869 white men and women between the ages of 18 and 64, just 13.3 percent of women and 4.2 percent of men knew that avoiding tanning beds could reduce their risk of skin cancer.
Tanning lamps and beds emit harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is linked with a higher risk of all forms of skin cancer, including potentially deadly melanomas. On average, indoor tanners are 74 percent more like to develop melanomas than non-tanners. They are also 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.
Additionally, the researchers found that indoor tanning was most popular among younger people: almost 36 percent of the women and 12.2 percent of the men aged 18-24 surveyed had tanned in the last year. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old. In the study, younger, higher earning, and better-educated women were more likely to have tanned indoors, as were people living in the Midwest and women in the South.
Skin cancer is the world's most common cancer, and one in five Americans will develop the disease over the course of a lifetime. However, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer by practicing sun safe behaviors such as seeking the shade between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM; wearing sun-protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat, wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and avoiding tanning and UV tanning booths.
To learn more about the dangers of tanning, click here.