If you ask a dermatologist about the worst thing you can do to your skin, most would say using a tanning bed. Indoor tanning not only ages the skin, it increases one's risk of developing skin cancer. Indoor tanning equipment uses artificial light that emits both UVA and UVB radiation. This type of radiation has been declared a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer categorizes UV tanning devices in the top category of the most dangerous cancer causing substances, alongside plutonium and cigarettes! Yet, more than one million people, primarily women and teen girls, visit a tanning salon every day in the United States. Because of these staggering numbers, skin cancer is on the rise in the United States. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five people will develop skin cancer at some point in their life. Additionally, people who tan indoors are 75% more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
As a small, single-doctor dermatology practice, our rates of skin cancer match those being reported by the American Academy of Dermatology. Last year, 20% of our office visits resulted in a skin cancer diagnosis. The numbers are staggering. Still, many people ask us what they can do for a healthy glow. One of the best options for a safe, healthy glow is to use a self tanner. Our office has tested many self tanners-we've done the work for you so you don't experience orange streaks or endure the unpleasant smell of most self tanners. Our favorite new self tanner is Tantasia from Jane Iredale. Over a period of three days, the ingredients in Tantasia work with your own melanin to produce a tan that uniquely matches your natural skin tone. This self tanner has a light citrus smell, does not streak, is sensitivity tested for face and body and provides natural hydration to the skin. As the warmer weather approaches, do your skin a favor and try a self tanner for a natural glow!