Experts Issue Powerful Tanning Bed Warning

International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. This new classification means tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.

A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30.

The research was published online in the medical journal Lancet Oncology on July 29, 2009, by experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization.

Activists are now calling on Congress to pass laws regarding tanning salons. Only 29 states have banned minors from using tanning beds. The report is published in the August issue of The Lancet Oncology.

Although the dangers of tanning indoors and out are widely known, most people continue the practice simply because they cannot see the effects directly. In fact, the damage that occurs to your skin after tanning can take years to show up. Since the damage occurs so deeply within the skin cells the symptoms, such as wrinkles, dark spots, and cancer, are a delayed effect that become visible only after years of damage has already been done.

Board Certified Dermatologists at East Coast Dermatology in Mount Pleasant, SC, offer some tips for those that want to reverse skin damage caused by sunbeds:
• Using Retinol
• Moisturizing
• Exfoliation
• Healthy lifestyle
• Avoid the use of tanning beds
• Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 everyday

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