Monday, June 23, 2014

Indoor Tanning and Basal Cell Carcinoma: Not a Good Combination

By: Lewis First, MD, MS

Are you aware that basal cell carcinomas are being diagnosed in younger adults more than ever before?

Photo by TristanB via Wikimedia Commons
Karagas et al. (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-3559) certainly are and decided to see if adolescent and young adult exposure to indoor tanning contributed to the increased prevalence of basal cell cancers before the age of 50.

Their study compared 657 young adults with this skin malignancy with a group of similarly aged controls and assessed both groups for indoor tanning exposure in terms of type (sunlamps, tanning beds or booths) and duration. The results shed light (hopefully not ultraviolet light) on the importance of discussing indoor tanning with older teens in your practice who like to go to such facilities.

Hopefully after sharing the information in this study, you will be even more convincing in helping them recognize the potential dangers of indoor tanning and its association with earlier onset of skin cancer.

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