WebMD Medical News
Louise Chang, MD
Dec. 17, 2007 -- What type of tanner are you? How you use indoor tanning
beds -- and how often -- may reveal a lot about your skin cancer risks.
A new study suggests that people who use indoor tanning beds fall into four
main types ranging from special event tanners to regular tanners, and each type
may face different skin cancer risks.
The results show that a "one size fits all" approach to skin cancer prevention messages doesn't
apply to indoor tanners, and doctors should tailor their skin cancer prevention
efforts to the indoor tanning habits of their patients.
Researchers say despite warnings, the popularity of indoor tanning beds has
increased dramatically in recent years. Nearly 2 million Americans use tanning
beds each day, and the number of individual users has doubled to nearly 30
million in the last decade.
Numerous studies have linked indoor tanning to a higher risk of both
melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers.
In the study, published in the Archives of Dermatology, researcher
Joel Hillhouse, PhD, of East Tennessee State University, and colleagues
surveyed 168 young women who used indoor tanning beds about their tanning
Four main indoor tanning types emerged:
Researchers say that by identifying indoor tanners by type, doctors can be
more effective in tailoring their skin cancer prevention strategies. For
example, regular year-round tanners may need to be screened for seasonal affective disorder or
SOURCE: Hillhouse, J. Archives of Dermatology, December 2007; vol
143: pp 1530-1535.
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