May 26, 2006, Newsletter Issue #42: Tanning and Ultraviolet Light

Tip of the Week

Some people worry that tanning indoors increases the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma. Heredity, fair skin, an abnormally high number of moles on oneís body (above 40), and a history of repeated childhood sunburns have all been implicated as potential risk factors for this disease.

People who receive regular exposure to sunlight get fewer melanomas. Some studies have found that an individualís genetic susceptibility to sunburn, and not the actual sunburn incidence itself, is the risk factor. Further, most studies on indoor tanning have not shown a statistically significant connection between commercial use of tanning equipment and an increased risk of melanoma. Most doctors will agree tanning beds are generally safe to use. Regular exposure to ultraviolet light is important for a healthy lifestyle.

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