Indoor tanning ups skin cancer risk

Washington: The ultraviolet (UV) radiation lamps used for indoor tanning put adolescents and young adults at risk for basal cell carcinomas (BCC), the most common form of skin cancer, says a study.

"Our findings suggest that teens and young adults who seek indoor tanning may be especially vulnerable to developing BCC, the most common form of skin cancer, at a young age," said professor Margaret Karagas from Norris Cotton Cancer Center in the US.

The researchers collected data on 657 participants in the New Hampshire Skin Cancer Study (all under 50) who had newly diagnosed cases of BCC and 452 others.

The data they collected included the type of indoor tanning device used (sunlamps, tanning beds, or booths), and skin sensitivity to the sun and proportion of time spent outdoors in childhood.

They found that a higher percentage of patients with early-onset BCC reported indoor tanning, and this association was present for all types of indoor tanning devices.

Their findings will appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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