How long does it take to get skin cancer from tanning beds?

 How long does it take to get skin cancer from tanning beds?

How long does it take to get skin cancer from tanning beds?_

CANCER; just a six letter word but is capable enough to scare people out, the moment they hear someone is suffering from CANCER and one of the reasons is that the fatality caused due to cancer. The fatality rate is very high because of cancer, and that is one of the most important things that make people scared of it, however with advancement in technology and medical science, things are changing and doctors are able to bring down the fatality rate a lot. 

CANCER, although just a six letter word, has a lot of negative impact on the minds of the people, because of the fact that one can hardly see anyone getting recovered from cancer and living a happy life, because what most of the times we see is cancer leading to the death of our loved ones as already mentioned. Thus, one can see that a lot of awareness has been rising against cancer, it’s symptoms, types and treatment so that people don’t have to lose their loved ones to a deadly disease yet again. 

But today we are going to talk about how long does it take to get skin cancer from tanning beds, well tanning is kind of a style statement among Western people, because their skin is usually very pale and thus they sometimes use various technologies like tanning beds to get a tan and look more beautiful and different, but before we get to about the answer related to the question asked in the title, let’s have a quick look at what is cancer, skin cancer and it’s symptoms and then move on to other details.

What is cancer? 

Cancer is a type of disease in which some of the body’s cells grow crazily and outspreads to other parts of the body. 

Cancer can develop anywhere and everywhere in the human body, which is made up of billions & billions of cells. Usually, human cells grow and multiply (through a process known as cell division) to form new cells as it the necessity of the body. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells appear in place of the old ones.

However once in a while this orderly procedure breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply in a crazy manner when they shouldn’t. And these abnormal or damaged cells may form tumours, (Tumours are nothing but lumps of tissues). Although Tumours can either be cancerous or non - cancerous (also known as benign).


What is Skin Cancer?

Skin Cancer is nothing but the abnormal growth of the skin cells and most often develops on the skin that is most exposed in the sunlight. But that doesn’t mean that one can be affected by skin cancer on the areas not exposed to the sun. There are three main types of Skin Cancer and they are as follows:

  • Basal cell carcinoma, 

  • Squamous cell carcinoma and 

  • Melanoma

And they have got their names from the different layers of the skin, meaning the layer of the skin where the cancer cells grow or develop. 

Where Skin Cancer develops?

Skin cancer develops essentially on areas of the skin that is exposed to the sun, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs in women. But it can also form on areas that rarely see the light of day —one’s palms, beneath their fingernails or toenails, and their genital area.

Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, including those with darker complexions. When melanoma occurs in people with dark skin tones, it's most likely to occur in areas not normally exposed to the sun, such as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. 


Symptoms of Skin Cancer:

Some of the symptoms of Skin Cancer are as follows:

  • Pinkish or Red shiny bumps.

  • A flat white or yellowish area on the skin.

  • Red patches.

  • Open sore that doesn’t heal.

  • Raised bumps with slight indention at the centres.

  • Wartlike (a small hard growth on the skin caused by a virus) growths.

  • Appearance of a large brownish in colour spot along with darker speckles.

  • Moles that change colour, size, or even bleeds.

  • Appearance of a small sized lesion with an irregular border and can appear as red, blue, pink, white and blue-black in some places.

  • Appearance of a lesion which is itchy and sometimes painful.

  • These lesions can also appear in a darker version on one’s soles, palms, fingertips or toes, even on one’s mucous membranes, on the lining of one’s mouth, nose, anus and vagina.

Now that we know what Cancer, Skin Cancer is and what are the symptoms of Skin Cancer, let’s have a quick look at what are Tanning Beds and how long does it take to get skin cancer from tanning beds.

What are Tanning Beds?

The tanning bed is a device that emits ultraviolet radiation to give people tan (darkens their skin). Like the sun, a bed frame can cause sunburn if one stays too long. Tanning beds use special fluorescent lamps (16 to 32 per bed sheet) to create visible light and ultraviolet light. Like all fluorescent lamps, they use a ballast system to measure the flow of electricity to each lamp, which is usually 100 watts per lamp. 

Sheet beds use special acrylic, or clear shield over lamps. Most clear plastics will block ultraviolet light, but this special type of plastic allows more ultraviolet light to pass through. Many heated beds also have a fan cooling system, cooling electrical appliances inside the sink bed and not too hot. All bath beds have a timer, a device that reduces the amount of time a person is exposed to ultraviolet light. And after a few minutes, the timer makes the bed turn off.

How long does it take to get skin cancer from tanning beds?

Science tells us that there is no such thing as a safe bed, a shelter, or a sunlight. Just one home screening session can increase the risk of skin cancer (melanoma by 20%, squamous cell carcinoma by 67%, and basal cell carcinoma by 29%). 1 Evidence that skin tanning in the home greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer is so strong that the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires warning labels on all household washing machines.

Sunlight emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation which increases the risk of skin cancer, both skin cancer (melanoma) and skin cancer (non-melanoma). Most sunbeds emit large amounts of UV radiation than daylight. The dangers are great for young people. Evidence suggests: people who are usually exposed to UV rays before the age of 25 are at greater risk of developing skin cancer later in life. The heat of the sun in childhood can greatly increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. It is illegal for people under the age of 18 to use sun beds.

Thus, one can see that even though it is not possible for us to know how much time it takes to get skin cancer from tanning beds, but one thing is for sure that using tanning beds is dangerous for one’s skin as it increases the risk of melanoma or Skin cancer and when used too much it can be very dangerous and fatal.

Ref: Are sunbeds safe? - NHS (

Tanning bed - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Skin cancer - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Image Source: Google 

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