Indoor tanning is a key risk factor for skin cancer. Why is it so dangerous? Review this page to learn more.


Use of tanning devices, such as tanning beds and sunlamps, is associated with a range of harmful effects, including increased risk of:

  • Melanoma, squamous cell skin cancer, and basal cell carcinoma
  • Ocular melanoma
  • Premature skin aging
  • Cataracts

Dangerous Exposure to UV Radiation

Artificial tanning devices such as tanning beds and sunlamps emit UV radiation, much like the sun does.

Getting a tan from a sunbed is no safer than getting a tan from the sun. Remember, any tan indicates that your skin is damaged, so maintaining a tan just increases the injury. To make matters worse, artificial tanning devices can be more dangerous because they emit a powerful “dose” of UV radiation. In some cases, they emit UV radiation up to 15 times the strength of the midday summer sun.


Skin cancer cases in the U.S.
caused by indoor tanning every year

The World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) have all called for a ban on ALL indoor tanning by minors. The United States Food and Drug Administration also recommends that no one under the age of 18 use these devices.