A new study from Yale has confirmed what many Dermatologists have long suspected. There is a strong link between indoor tanning beds and basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer. According to the Yale study, “People who used indoor tanning beds are at a significantly higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma (BCC) before the age of 40 than people who never used indoor tanning beds.” Young people who used tanning beds showed a 69 percent increased risk of early-onset BCC. The risk increased with years of indoor tanning. You can read the press release on the Yale study by clicking here. In addition, another study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology has found that UVA radiation used in tanning beds may cause more damage to the skin than originally thought. A research team found alarming damage from UVA exposure. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB. Tanning beds predominately emit UVA rays, although some use both. The study also found damage from UVB rays, but it wasn’t as deep as the UVA damage. The Food and Drug administration is considering a national ban on tanning beds for children under the age of 18. A similar measure went into effect earlier this year in California. My advice is prevention. I think it’s best to avoid tanning beds, and prolonged outdoor sun exposure. If you used tanning beds, especially before age 40, you really should have a thorough skin cancer screening. This link will take you to information on a self-exam, and if you need additional information, or want to schedule an appointment for a more thorough screening, contact my office.