You might want to think twice before hitting the tanning bed to get that “healthy glow.”

Evidence has shown that the use of tanning salons has been linked to increased risks of skin cancer and long-term skin damage. Scientists have studied the effects of UV exposure and have linked the use of tanning beds to as many as 400,000 cases of skin cancer every year in the U.S. Additionally, they have found that more time spent in a tanning salon correlates with the higher risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and other types of skin cancers. In fact, some evidence has shown that using beds before the age of 30 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.

“Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women from 25 to 30 years old, and the second leading cause in women from 30 to 35 years old,” said Kasia Masterpol, MD, a Lahey Health dermatologist, now practicing in Burlington and opening soon in Woburn. “UV rays from tanning beds emit up to 15 times more radiation than the sun. These rays penetrate skin layers down to the cellular levels, causing abnormal cells to grow and the development of melanoma.”


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