It's expected to see radiant, dark tans on the bodybuilding stage, but that comes with the sacrifice of time and skin damage. There are ways to get stage color with spray tanners and creams, but tanning beds offer glowing base tans and tight skin. However, the tanning bed is deadly by increasing your risk of melanoma skin cancer, as well as non melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).
The negative aspects of NMSC and melanoma skin cancer far outweigh tight, dark skin. Studies show a direct link between tanning beds and an increase of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The association of use of sunbeds with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin cancers: A systematic review resulted in an increased melanoma development by 15% in all age groups. This increase jumped to 75% in those who used tanning beds before the age of 35.
During 2014 skin cancer in the U.S. nearly reached the half million mark. The study of International prevalence of indoor tanning: A systematic review and meta-analysis resulted in more than 450,000 cases of NMSC which includes basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and more than 10,000 melanoma cases.
Since 1973 there has been a 200% increase in melanomas. Time spent in tanning beds, as well as outdoors, with minimal or completely unprotected skin from ultra violet (UV) rays, attributes to these increases. This poses a terrible problem to bodybuilders trying to achieve the darkest tan possible. Minutes lead to hours in tanning beds; creating a perfect gateway for increased skin cancer chances.
In 2014 the Surgeon General also recommended all people stay out of tanning beds, and stop believing that tan skin is healthy skin. Time spent in tanning beds, combined with unprotected outdoor activities, has led to $8 billion dollars spent each year to treat melanoma, as well as NMSC.
Bodybuilders chase after that perfect base tan, which is layered with bottled color such as Pro Tan, Jan Tana, Dream Tan, and etc. However, this base tan is not safe or healthy. These risks for tan skin can be decreased by staying out of the tanning beds, especially as a young adult. Melanoma is a life threatening issue, and is reduced by using other forms of tanning.
Lisa M. White
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