“It’s important for people to understand both the long-term and the short-term risks of indoor tanning,” said Gery P. Guy Jr. of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Many immediate risks are also associated with higher risk of health issues later on, like skin cancer, said Guy.
“For example, burns increase the risk of skin cancer later in life, while eye injuries from intense UV exposure may lead to cataracts and eye melanoma,” he told Reuters Health by email. “People trying to get tan to look good need to understand that they might get a burn rather than a tan, and that tanned skin is also damaged skin.”
Using data from a sample of U.S. emergency rooms, the researchers identified 405 cases of nonfatal injury caused by indoor tanning between 2003 and 2012.
They estimate that tanning beds/booths caused 3,234 visits to the hospital for such injuries in the U.S. each year during the study.