The True Cost of Indoor Tanning

Interior of tanning bed in Baton Rouge, LAMany consumers are enticed to the tanning salon by the promise of a sun-kissed glow. While the cost of a single session may not seem particularly high, consumers should consider the long-term costs before they decide to soak up some artificial rays.

Tanning Devices and Your Health

A recent study conducted by Dr. Hugh Waters at the University of North Carolina found that tanning devices can be detrimental to both your health and your wallet. These beds emit UV radiation, which damages cells and DNA and can lead to skin cancer. Other skin diseases, such as dermatitis, porokeratosis, and keratitis, are also linked to indoor tanning.

The Real Cost of Indoor Tanning

Dr. Waters found that in 2015, there were 263,600 cases of indoor tanning-related skin cancer. These conditions accrued approximately $343.1 million in medical costs in 2015 alone and racked up more than $127 billion in financial losses over the lifetime of the patients. In spite of these costs, the number of consumers utilizing these facilities has risen over the last 20 years to approximately 30 million people.

Cancer Rates on the Rise

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the US, and its rate of occurrence is drastically increasing, due in part to the use of tanning beds. “The use of tanning devices is a significant contributor to illness and premature mortality in the United States,” said Dr. Waters. It “also represents a major economic burden in terms of the costs of medical care and lost productivity.” The authors also assert that their calculations are conservative, so the financial impact of these devices could be significantly higher.

While it might be tempting to go for a quick bronzing in a tanning bed, the long-term effects on your health and your pocketbook should be taken into account. Consider alternative options like self-tanners. However, if you have a skin concern after using a tanning device, make an appointment at The Dermatology Clinic for an evaluation today.

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