Some people believe that a good tan all over their body improves their looks. Unfortunately there can be acute and long term consequences to the use of a tanning bed.


Risks of a tanning bed:

(1) increased risk of basal and squamous cell carcinoma

(2) dysplasia in melanocytic nevi with progression to malignant melanoma

(3) development of sunbed lentigenes (actinic lentigo)

(4) phototoxicity related to drugs, plants or autoimmune disease

(5) sunburn

(6) actinic damage (wrinkling, thinning, solar elastosis)

(7) exacerbation of porphyria

(8) polymorphous light eruption

(9) ocular photodamage (to retina and lens)

(10) injury from equipment malfunction


People at risk:

(1) children and adolescents

(2) elderly

(3) excessive frequency of use

(4) excessive duration of use (including falling asleep)

(5) close proximity to the light source

(6) pre-existing disease (porphyria, autoimmune disease, other photosensitivity)

(7) exposure to a phototoxic agent (drug, chemical, herb, plant)

(8) intoxication or altered consciousness

(9) previous or concurrent excessive sun exposure


Many people exceed the recommended exposure, especially if they have a unit at home.


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