TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Many people question the safety of using a tanning bed, but doctors have come to the conclusion that there is no safe way to tan indoors.
Dermatologist Dr. Harvey Handler says even those who use a tanning booth for special occasions are increasing their chances of skin cancer:
"The incidents of melanoma has gone up exponentially in the past 15 years because of the starting of the tanning booths. Five minutes in a tanning booth, is worse than thirty minutes at the earth's equator at noon."
Harvey says not only do the rays given off by tanning booths penetrate deeper into your skin than the sun's rays, but it can also be addicting:
"I have three female patients with melanoma, who have big scars - one in the chest, two in the chest, one in the back - who still go to tanning booths - I mean this is how bad it is."
Harvey adds the way tanning makes an individual feel creates an addiction:
" Because it releases endorphins and people feel happy after a tanning booth. Like when people have a little tan, they feel good, they feel a little glowy."
Rob Quinn, president of the Indoor Tanning Association, says there are many regulations in place that prevent tanners from over-using:
"You can't over-expose. The way that the FDA designed the exposure labels on tanning beds, and the amount of exposure time – it's very difficult."
Quinn says Ohio's tanning booth regulations are some of the strictest, and he stands by those rules:
"I kind of applaud Ohio for that, because they were kinda a leader in creating regulations in indoor tanning, and it's really helped our industry a lot it's helped weed out the, you know the rogue salons."
Dr. Handler says the proper amount of sunscreen one wants to apply daily is 2 tablespoons. It must be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure.