The potential carcinogenic risk of tanning beds: clinical guidelines and patient safety advice
Mette Mogensen1, Gregor BE Jemec2
1Department of Dermatology, Gentofte Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark; 2Department of Dermatology, Roskilde Hospital, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Copenhagen, Roskilde, Denmark
Introduction: In 2009, the WHO listed ultraviolet (UV) radiation as a group 1 carcinogen. In spite of this, each year, millions of people tan indoor in Western countries. The aim of this review is to summarize evidence of tanning bed carcinogenesis and to present guidelines for use of tanning beds and patient safety advice.
Methods: A narrative review of the literature was conducted based on both PubMed and Medline searches and on literature review of the retrieved papers.
Results: Use of indoor tanning beds represents a significant and avoidable risk factor for the development of both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. Frequent tanners are more often adolescent females. Tanning beds have additional potential adverse effects such as burns, solar skin damage, infection, and possibly also addictive behavior.
Discussion: The effort in preventing UV light-induced carcinogenesis should currently be aimed at developing new strategies for public health information. Tanning beds are one preventable source of UV radiation. In the majority of people solar UV radiation continues to be the major factor and therefore anti-tanning campaigns must always include sunbathers.
Keywords: tanning beds, skin cancers, melanoma, nonmelanoma
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