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Message About Indoor Tanning and Skin Cancer Is Not Getting Through, Researchers Say

Sunless Tanners Don't See the Dark Side of Tanning Beds

Like Mother, Like Daughter

In a related letter in the same journal, Mary Kate Baker, MPH, of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn., writes that many female tanners went tanning for the first time with their mothers.

Of those who went tanning with their mom for the first time, 81% still went tanning and 31.9% were heavy tanners, which is defined in this study as tanning more than 25 times per year.

People who tanned with their mother for the first time were nearly five times as likely to be heavy, current tanners as people who went tanning by themselves or with someone other than their mother for the first time.

“Interventions directed at mothers before the child initiates tanning have the potential to lead to reduced tanning in the mother and reduced tanning initiation and frequency in the child,” the authors conclude.

Industry Responds

John Overstreet, the executive director of the Washington, D.C.,-based Indoor Tanning Association, an industry trade group, says the jury is still out on any potential hazards associated with indoor tanning.

“Individuals and groups who argue against exposure to UV light and/or sunbeds use would have the public believe there is scientific consensus about the risks,” he tells WebMD. “This is absolutely false."

There are many benefits to exposure to UV light, whether from the sun or a sunbed, he says.

“There are risks and benefits to tanning outdoors and indoors, but in moderation and based on skin type and predisposed risk factors, people can make a judgment for themselves.”

Brush up on Beauty

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