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Plastic Surgery’s Did You Know? Sunlamps and the Risk Of Skin Cancer

 

While many people enjoy the apparent healthy glow of a good tan, the long-term consequences of looking ‘bronzed’ are far less glorious. Like smoking from many decades ago, most people know it is not good for you but just can not resist doing it. This is particularly true amongst teens and young people who are infused with an understandable perception of immortality.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now proposed that indoor tanning beds be labeled with consumer warnings about the risks of developing skin cancer from their use. This is just a warning and does not preclude anyone, even a minor, from using them. But it will have in the warning a recommendation that warns young people not to use them. If approved, and I have no doubt it eventually will, this would reclassify sunlamps from a Class 1 device to a Class 2 device signifying the increased health risk with their use.

Despite the position of the tanning industry that indoor tanning beds do not pose any health risks, the reality is that sunlamps do damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the use of tanning beds increases the risk of developing the most severe form of skin cancer, melanoma, by a striking 75 percent.

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Dr. Barry EppleyDr. Barry Eppley

Dr. Barry Eppley is an extensively trained plastic and cosmetic surgeon with more than 20 years of surgical experience. He is both a licensed physician and dentist as well as double board-certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This training allows him to perform the most complex surgical procedures from cosmetic changes to the face and body to craniofacial surgery. Dr. Eppley has made extensive contributions to plastic surgery starting with the development of several advanced surgical techniques. He is a revered author, lecturer and educator in the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery.

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