Tanning Booths and Skin Cancer Relationship – Medicine

Topic Overview

Research has shown that many people are not aware of the dangers associated with the use of tanning booths. As a matter of fact, the effects of tanning booths are worse than sun’s exposure owing to extreme radiation. Empirical evidences have shown that over 2.5 million teenagers use tanning booths every year.

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To be precise, Barton (367) highlights that thirty-five percent of young women are at high risk of developing cancerous cells because they begin using the harmful product at tender ages. Recent studies have documented that young people engage in this behavior thus increasing their chances of suffering from skin cancer. It is shocking to discover that there are indoor tanning devices that are commonly used in United States.

Tanning booths are a widespread behavior among non-Hispanic women. Basch et al (250) highlight that tanning booths emit UVA rays that are able to penetrate the epidermal and dermal cells of the skin. Consequently, they are able to damage the DNA cells specifically where melanin is produced.

Besides, tanning booths emit UVB rays which resuscitate development of melanomas and other types of skin anomalies (Basch et al 251). Regardless of the numerous studies conducted to unearth the risk of tanning booths, there is still room for further research. Therefore, there is a need to research and examine whether tanning booths increase chances of skin cancer.

Summary of selected articles

Barton, Mary Kay. “Indoor tanning increases melanoma risk, even in the absence of a sunburn.” Cancer journal for clinicians 64.6 (2014): 367-368. Print.

Barton (376) defines a tan to be a harmful exposure to ultraviolet radiation that causes tanning lamps on the skin. From the article, one can discern that tanning booths make one to damage the cells in the skin. It is also evident that tanning salons advocate for such a behavior which Barton (368) considers to be very misleading.

Evidences from the article reveal that tanning booths result to premature aging of the skin (Doré and Marie-Christine 34). Victims of this behavior develop brown spots, wrinkles and lax skin. Such symptoms are the ones that medics use to diagnose skin cancer. Barton (368) notes that indoor skin tanners develop melanoma.

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The reality is that tanning of skins poses dangers to once health. Barton (368) concurs with Basch, Corey Hannah et al (254) who reiterate that skin cancer cases due to tanning booths have become a public health issue. Narayanan, Deevya, Rao and Joshua (980) in their research study point out that there is a coincidental connection between skin cancer and tanning.

Barton (368) points out that western country are the most affected with skin cancer with a higher prevalence in young adult population. From the article, there is an alarming rise of skin melanoma for people aged 17-39 years. Barton (368) highlights that the prevalence rate for tanning booths is higher among young women as opposed to men. From the article, it is evident that people who do indoor tanning have higher chances of getting skin cancer than those who do not practice it at all.

Basch, Corey Hannah, et al. “Improving understanding about tanning behaviors in college students: A pilot study.” Journal of American College Health 60.3 (2012): 250-256. Print.

In this article, Basch et al (250) admit that melanoma is one of the most dangerous and common types of skin cancer diagnosed among young adults. Further investigations reveal that populations aged 35 and below are at a risk of developing melanoma. Greater use of tanning booths at earlier age increases the risks of skin cancer. According to a pilot study conducted in 2012, college and high schools students were found to be the most prevalent to melanoma.

Studies have been done to assess beliefs, behaviors and barriers of tanning booths. Research evidences revealed that over 90% of college and high school students repeatedly spent 3 hours in sun beds. Basch et al (252) highlight that only 17% were reported to use sun blocks when in the sun beds.

Over 60% of college and high school students were reported to embrace indoor tanning. Empirical studies conducted by Narayanan at al (980) revealed that the greatest barrier for tanning was forgetting. Ferrucci et al (886) report low levels of using sun blocks among college students.

In addition, Basch et al (253) noted that there was an annual increase in the prevalence for indoor tanning. Most people ended up developing multiple sunburns which eventually exposed them to skin cancer. From the article, Guy et al (8) recommend that in order to mitigate the impacts of tanning, young people need to be encouraged to use sun blocks during indoor tanning.

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Moreover, they need to be discouraged from prolonged exposure to sun. Besides this, Watson et al (682) emphasize that indoor tanning is more dangerous as it emit more ultraviolet rays than direct sun. In this case, it is advisable for young adults to substitute artificial tanning with natural tanning as this will reduced the risks of skin cancer.

Doré, Jean-François, and Marie-Christine Chignol. “Tanning salons and skin cancer.” Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 11.1 (2012): 30-37. Print.

Research has shown that tanning saloons have immensely increased in Europe and United States. Doré, and Marie-Christine (31) reiterate that sunny countries such as Queensland in Australia have specifically invented sun beds that adolescents and children use to tan their skins. In this article, one can discern that indoor tanning is more used by young adults below age 40.

Evidences from epidemiological studies have shown that increased exposure to sun beds escalates the risks of developing non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. This article contains a meta-analysis of 19 studies which reveal that tanning booths are positively associated with melanoma. Long-term exposure to sun is a major risk factor in contracting cancer owing to harmful rays. Karagas et al (8) analyze that artificial exposure to ultraviolet rays in saloons is a risks factor for skin cancer.

Zhang et al (1589) point out that though the risks might appear moderate for general populations, there are adverse effects contracted on the population that largely use sun beds before age 35. Levine et al (1036) expose one particular concern of tanning saloons since they increase the risks of melanoma by 43 to 76%. As a matter of fact, Doré, and Marie-Christine (36) concur with Wehner et al (18) opinion that tanning salons should be strongly discouraged and prohibited for use by people who are below 18 years.

Refining the Topic and Defining the Rhetorical Situation

Report coverage: information and facts that readers need to know to make a decision

The study will cover the effects of tanning booth. In this case, the research will contain facts derived from various sources such as the World Health Organization reports.

The report will also contain statistical facts elaborating the risks of tanning booths, prevalence rate and other demographic information related to the behavior such as age, gender and race. Some of the information that the readers will be required to know is how to protect and maintain tanned skin, coping with the behavior and other related side effects other than skin cancer.

What should the report accomplish? What is its main goal or objective?

There are numerous goals to be achieved through the report. These will include the following:

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  1. Identifying the effects of tanning booth on skin
  2. Outlining numerous skin complications associated with tanning booths
  3. Listing measures that can be taken to reduce adverse effects of tanning booths

Having achieved the above objectives, the report will accomplish its purpose of proving the theory that tanning booths increase chances of skin cancer.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of my report is to examine the dangers of tanning booths among high school students. This paper aims to establish the relationship between tanning booths and skin cancer. Therefore, the study will shed light on the allegation that tanning booths increase chances of skin cancer.

Audience of the Report

Besides the instructor, this report targets high school students as the main audience. This is because they are more susceptible to tanning booths on a regular basis. Therefore, they are the primary readers of the report. In addition, the instructor will act as the secondary reader whereas school administrators and policy makers will be the tertiary readers. Parents of the students and other intellectuals will be the gatekeeper readers

Context of use

This report will be used in schools (especially high schools and colleges) to emphasize the young adults to avid tanning booths. The report is usable anytime and can be utilized during peer cancelling and health awareness forums. In this case, it can be used to advise young adults on how to minimize chances of developing skin cancer. Besides, there are political factors to be considered when writing the report.

For instance, the research will be written in an appealing manner to initiate political measures such as passing of policies and laws that discourage and mitigate the use of tanning booths among young adults in schools. Moreover, one of the economical factors to consider is to make the report appealing to provoke economists to mitigate cost-intensive hazards associated with tanning booths.

Moreover, the ethical considerations in the report will be geared to convince young adults to appreciate their natural skins and forego the behavior of tanning booths. It is anticipated that the reader will be able to grasp the researcher’s ideas and use the knowledge gained for a healthier living.

Researching the Topic

Research question

Do tanning booths increase chances of skin cancer?

Research hypothesis

The hypothesis that will guide the researcher during the study is ‘booth tanning increases chances of skin cancer’

Research methodology

This research will use a multiple approach where qualitative and qualitative research methods will be used. Participants will be required to fill online survey about tanning booths, sun safety habits and beliefs about tanning. Moreover, a selected group of participants will be interviewed each at a time. Data collected will be analyzed and conclusions will be made based on the research findings.

Defining the Subject

Indoor tanning may peel off human skim and expose a user to the risk of burns. The effect is achieved through beds and tanning booths, which are increasingly comfortable and well equipped. However, dermatologists warn against risks such as premature aging and even skin cancer. Enthusiasts of this type of tanning understand that in order to achieve a uniform and enviable color, it is important to darken the skin a little every day. In a tanning bed, one gets a tanned skin gradually without ever getting burned or even peeled.

Whatever the reason, the beds and tanning booths are generating controversy and of course not safe when exposed on the human skin. According to doctors, the ultraviolet rays from the beds and booths can cause cancer and accelerate the aging of cells. The tanning beds have a transparent acrylic structure through which lights enter from a series of lamps. It has been proven that the ultraviolet rays A also have carcinogenic potential, that is, they can cause skin cancer..

Background Information

The high-intensity ultraviolet radiation emitted by tanning booths, and increase the risk of skin cancer can cause other injuries and skin aging.

The information is based on several studies that have been carried out in the past. In addition, several cases of cancer have been observed among individuals who use tanning booths. Some drugs can sensitize the skin when they come into contact with UV light. Those who regularly use any medications need to know exactly if that their skins react with those drugs after being used. The ideal way is to undergo only one session per day of exposure to ultraviolet rays and give skin a rest for 48 hours for the next exhibition.


In this particular report, I plan to discuss tanning booths and their intended purposes from an object point of view. Thereafter, the report will analyze the pros and cons of using tanning booths.

Finally, the report will seek to investigate the actual negative effects of tanning booths in relation to exposure to UV rays. Hence, this will require an adequate research background of the subject matter. Relevant literature will be used to research about tanning booths and the associated health impacts. Recommendations and conclusions will finally form the last part of the report.


The multiple approaches that will be used in this report was chosen due to the broad and debatable nature of the subject matter. In other words, the use of tanning booths has generated a lot of controversy when it comes to safety. While some agree that it exposes skin to UV rays and eventual skin cancer, there are those who believe that tanning booths are relatively safe.

This is the reason why it was necessary to use multiple research methodologies in order to thoroughly delve into the issue of tanning booths. I found my research in peer reviewed journal articles and professional publications. The database reports used in the analysis are from Proquest, Ebscohost and Wiley online libraries. Interviews and case studies were also vital source of information.

Summary of Results

Major research findings of the study include:

  • Tanning booths lead to the development of age spots, wrinkles, skin aging and of course skin cancer (Levine et al 1040). It has been found out that tanning booths weaken the top layer of the human skin and therefore enhances easy penetration of harmful rays from sun and immediate environment.
  • The artificial procedure also alters the natural texture of the skin. It makes the skin texture to be quite light and vulnerable to UV rays of both class A and class B (Ferrucci 885)
  • In addition, a blinding eye disease can easily be contracted by individuals who use tanning booths. In most instances, most users do not use any type of protection when using tanning booths (Barton 368).

Implications of Results

The results contained in this research study imply that the use of tanning booths is one of the major contributing factors of skin cancer. While people still use tanning booths to lighten their skin, there are numerous health dangers associated with the practice. It is apparent that avoidance of tanning booths can significantly lower the risk of skin cancer.

Conclusion and Recommendations

If you see any allergies, inflammation or bubble, exposure should be stopped and the issue reported immediately to a medical doctor. Contact lens wearers should remove them because due to the heat, they can damage or irritate the eyes. It is also necessary to protect the nipples. People who have made use of peeling or exfoliating creams or lotions should also be prohibited from beds or tanning booths.

Teens and pregnant women should avoid this type of tanning. Besides, people should drink at least two liters of water a day; have a good diet rich in beta-carotene, found in carrots, beets and pumpkin. At the end of each session, it is necessary to drink water. It is essential that people wear eye protection during the sessions so that the cornea is not at risk of burning.

This study is important because it can be used to lower new cases of skin cancer. Future studies on this area should seek to develop new alternative methods that do not weaken skin layer instead of tanning booths.

Works Cited

Barton, Mary Kay. “Indoor tanning increases melanoma risk, even in the absence of a sunburn.” A cancer journal for clinicians 64.6 (2014): 367-368. Print.

Basch, Corey Hannah et al. “Improving understanding about tanning behaviors in college students: A pilot study.” Journal of American College Health 60.3 (2012): 250-256. Print.

Doré, Jean-François, and Chignol Marie-Christine. “Tanning salons and skin cancer.” Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 11.1 (2012): 30-37. Print.

Ferrucci, Leah. “Indoor tanning in businesses and homes and risk of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer in 2 US case-control studies.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 71.5 (2014): 882-887. Print.

Guy, Gery.,Berkowitz, Zahava., Jones, Sherry., Holman, Dawn., Garnett, Erin., and Watson, Meg. Trends in Indoor Tanning Among US High School Students, 2009- 2013. JAMA Dermatology 151.4(2015): 448-450. Print.

Karagas, Margaret et al. “Early-onset Basal cell carcinoma and indoor tanning: a population-based study.” Pediatrics 134.1 (2014): e4-e12. Print.

Levine, Jody et al. “The indoor UV tanning industry: a review of skin cancer risk, health benefit claims, and regulation.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 53.6 (2005): 1038-1044. Print.

Narayanan, Deevya., Rao Saladi, and Joshua Fox. “Review: Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer.” International journal of dermatology 49.9 (2010): 978-986. Print.

Watson, Meg, et al. “Preventing skin cancer through reduction of indoor tanning: current evidence.” American journal of preventive medicine 44.6 (2013): 682-689. Print.

Wehner, Mackenzie et al. “Indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis.” Bmj 345 (2012). Print.

Zhang, Mingfeng et al. “Use of tanning beds and incidence of skin cancer.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 30.14 (2012): 1588-1593. Print.

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