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.