Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can harm your skin in more ways than one. UV rays primarily come from the sun, but we are also exposed through artificial sources, such as tanning beds. Indoor tanning gives you a golden glow year-round, yet that glow comes at the cost of serious skin damage. Learn more about the top three consequences of indoor tanning with this review from Dermatology Associates in Fayetteville, NY, and schedule a consultation today if your skin has been damaged by tanning bed use.
1. Tanning Causes Skin Cancer
UV rays are a known cause of several types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Excessive exposure through tanning or sunbathing only increases that risk because ultraviolet rays damage the DNA inside skin cells. Depending on the type and extent of the DNA damage, cancer can then develop. In many cases, cancer develops in areas of the body that get the most UV exposure, such as the chest, back, legs, face, ears, neck, lips, and hands. However, it can occur anywhere on the body.
If you go tanning or have in the past, check your body for warning signs of skin cancer. Skin cancer is extremely common – the most common type of all cancers – so you must be on the lookout and schedule regular skin cancer screenings. Common signs of skin cancer include:
- Raised, red, and/or itchy patches
- Open sores that don’t heal
- Discolored or unusual looking bumps, growths, or moles
- Skin growths/moles that get bigger and start to change over time
2. Tanning Ages Your Skin
Tanning also causes visible signs of aging. Skin naturally starts to wrinkle and change with age, but tanning accelerates this process. With frequent trips to the tanning bed, you’ll start to develop wrinkles, brown spots, sun spots, and weathering earlier than the average person might. Though these changes are mostly cosmetic, they can cause you to feel less confident in your skin. If you’re experiencing these signs of aging, you may want to pursue skin treatment options through Dermatology Associates. Treatments are available to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, firm skin, and improve tone and texture.
3. Tanning Damage Is Cumulative
Another reason indoor tanning is so dangerous is the cumulative nature of UV exposure. Damage starts the very first time you tan and continues to build with every new appointment. As the ultraviolet rays damage your cells, they cause more genetic mutations to form. In other words, the more tanning you do, the more likely you are to damage your skin. That’s one reason age is a risk factor associated with skin cancer – although people of all ages can be affected.
This also applies to sun exposure, not just tanning beds. For example, melanoma has been linked to frequent sunburns, especially sunburns that occurred in childhood. Frequent severe sunburns that blister are even more likely to lead to serious health risks. That’s why it’s so important to practice sun safety every time you go out. Apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing to guard your body against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, and avoid tanning beds even if you rarely get sunburns due to natural UV exposure.
Are You at Risk? See a Dermatologist Today
Even though skin damage has serious consequences, there’s good news, too. By scheduling skin screenings and working with a dermatologist, you can protect yourself against cancer and improve the appearance of spots, wrinkles, and other UV-related signs of aging. Get the care your skin deserves – call Dermatology Associates at 315-663-0100 to schedule an appointment today.