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Tanning, Moles, and Melanoma

April 5, 2014

Spring in Canada does not announce itself with a trumpet blast. There are no rolling lawns or flower beds bursting with colour. Not yet, anyway.

But there are subtle signs aplenty. The gyms are more crowded and many young people are laying down a ‘base’ indoor tan for the summer. Let me settle this right off the bat: a base tan does not protect you from the sun!

A base tan cannot provide enough SPF to block daggers of UV light from piercing the skin. Think about it.

Tanned skin is damaged skin, and cumulative skin damage causes cancer. There is nothing healthy about a tan.


“Tanning beds are considered carcinogenic to humans, which means that they cause cancer. The World Health Organization classifies tanning beds as a Group 1 carcinogen putting them in the same category as asbestos, tobacco, alcohol and other known carcinogens.”

Indoor tanning is a known risk factor for malignant melanoma, and also raises your risk for non-melanoma skin cancer. Specifically, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.

Tanning beds emit higher doses of UV radiation than the sun, especially UVA radiation, leading to premature aging. Surely we all recognize that baby smooth skin looks better than wrinkles, age spots, or a sagging, leathery hide?

Are you at risk?



Learn the facts from Sun Smart Saskatchewan: SCA_factsheet-March-2013


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