A recent study examined the association between indoor tanning and melanoma among women under the age of 50. Results show women who tan indoors regularly under the age of 50 were at a 2 to 6 times higher risk of melanoma, compared to age matched women who do not tan indoors (controls).
The researchers further examined this correlation by age. Specifically, women who have ever tanned indoors under the age of 30 were 6 times as likely to develop melanoma opposed to controls; women aged 30-39 were 3.5 times as likely to develop melanoma; women aged 40-49 were 2.3 times as likely to develop melanoma. Though the results were heightened for younger women that tan indoors, those aged 40-49 are still twice as likely to develop melanoma opposed to controls.
Interestingly, women diagnosed under the age of 40 started indoor tanning at 16 years old (median age), opposed to 25 years exhibited by women 40 years and older. “This is particularly concerning for the women that started tanning indoors as an adolescent because the risk of developing melanoma in the future is incredibly high.” Almost all women who developed melanoma younger than 30 years old reported indoor tanning more than 10 times. Women aged 30-50 years old who reported tanning more than 10 times were more than 3 to 4 times likely to develop melanoma. This study provides evidence that indoor tanning is a likely cause to melanoma to women under the age of 50.
The Food and Drug Administration announced plans to prohibit indoor tanning in minors. The proposed rule would require only persons 18 years and older to use sunlamp products, and those adults would be required to sign a form that stated they have been informed of the health risks associated with indoor tanning. Currently, 11 states prohibit minors less than 18 years from tanning, whereas 7 states have no restrictions. The remaining states either requires parental permission or prohibits some minors from tanning, but not all.
If you are concerned about your risk of melanoma, call and schedule an appointment with Dr. David Kouba at Toledo Clinic Facial Plastics and Dermatology!