One of the simplest ways to prevent skin cancer is to stay out of the sun. What many people don’t realize is that tanning beds are just as dangerous as the sun. As you adjust your sun safety habits to prevent skin cancer, learn why you should never get a tan from a tanning bed.

Aren’t tanning beds safe?
Before you book your next tanning appointment, consider this statistic from the National Cancer Institute: women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55% more likely to develop the most deadly form of skin cancer. The more frequently you use tanning beds, the more likely you are to develop skin cancer. According to the FDA, the UV radiation from tanning beds contributes to skin cancer, burns, skin aging and eye damage. In short, tanning beds are not safe.

Why is it bad if it isn’t the real sun?
The light used in a tanning bed is just an artificial source of UV radiation. It’s like staying out in the sun and getting a sunburn. Just because you’re indoors or in a salon that claims to be safe doesn’t mean the light from the tanning bed is any safer than the sun’s rays. Because it’s concentrated UV radiation and you’re unlikely to use sunscreen in an tanning bed, it could be worse than spending time out in the sun without protection.

How can I get a safe tan?
Instead of tanning outdoors or in a tanning booth, consider heading to a salon that offers spray tans. Applied with a special airbrushing system, these are a healthier alternative to tanning beds. You can also try creams and sprays at home. Just follow the manufacturer's directions carefully. Remember, even sprays and lotions contain chemicals. For maximum skin safety, avoid using fake tanning products entirely. Brush a little bronzer onto your face and embrace your natural skin tone.

If I have a tan, do I need sunscreen?
Whether you’re naturally tan or you’ve recently gotten a tanning booth tan or spray tan, you still need to use sunscreen or sunblock when outdoors. A tan does not protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. In fact, if you’re tan from the sun, your skin has already been damaged. Be sure to practice sun safety in the future.

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

  • Stay in the shade or indoors from around 11am to 4pm.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Wear UV protective clothing and swimwear when spending a lot of time outside.

It is important to have your skin checked annually to screen for any pre-cancerous moles or skin changes that have occurred due to sun exposure or frequent tanning. For a physician referral, please call 1-855-5NHILLS.

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