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Many Young Adults at Risk of Skin Cancer: CDC
Date:5/11/2012

ercent of men had used tanning beds 10 or more times in the past year, the researchers found.

"People need to understand that there is a risk to using tanning beds," Plescia said.

Indoor tanning before age 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75 percent, the report noted. The fact that melanoma rates are higher among young white women than young white men might be explained by their more frequent use of indoor tanning, the authors suggested.

Plescia said that about 30 states restrict the use of tanning beds by young people, but these regulations vary.

"Only two states, California and Vermont, ban indoor tanning for anyone under 18," he said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering requiring labels on tanning beds to inform users about the risk of skin cancer, he said. But he doesn't believe banning indoor tanning is realistic.

Dr. Daniel Siegel, president of the American Academy of Dermatology, said the numbers weren't unexpected. "I am not surprised we are seeing lots of people tanning. It's just like smoking and other risky habits; you're young and you think you are immortal," he said.

"This is one more bad habit people need to change," Siegel explained. "You need to protect yourself from the carcinogenic ultraviolet light you get from the sun and tanning beds."

Melanoma is increasing at an alarming rate, Siegel added. "If you look at the lifetime risk, it's close to 1 in 50; it was 1 in 1,000 forty years ago," he said.

To reduce the risk of skin cancer, the CDC recommends:

  • Stay in the shade, especially from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade the face, head, ears and neck.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses that block most ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor 15 or higher that blocks both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.
  • Don't use indoor tanning.'/>"/>

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