WHO recommends that users of tanning equipment the greatest caution. They are, as she says, carcinogenic? And what precautions to take?

In July, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a body under the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to classify tanning devices emitting ultraviolet (UV) as carcinogenic to humans as well as the sun or tobacco. According to IARC, the risk of cutaneous melanoma increases by 75% when using these tanning devices starts before the age of thirty. Moreover, the artificial tanning may increase the risk of ocular melanoma. Also according to the IARC, all ultraviolet radiation (UVA, UVB and UVC) are carcinogenic to humans.

Tanning devices are dangerous?

The desire to tan or to stay late summer sometimes leads to reckless and show little concern for safety (the vast majority 75% of users of tanning beds are women). We know with certainty that exposure to UV, either natural or artificial, is a known risk factor for skin cancer. The WHO estimates that risks reinforcing negative consequences of sun exposure. UV emitted by tanning devices are a prior not less harmful than UV emitted naturally by the sun. The risk is increased by the fact that tanning devices expose more skin to radiation than in a conventional exposure to the sun.


In addition, some skins do not bronze even after several sessions. Depending on the sensitivity to sunburn, skin types are classified into six different categories I to VI. People with skin type I, with the lightest skin, do not tan easily and catch sunburn. Artificial ultraviolet radiation is also fully recommended for children and adolescents. French law also prohibits access to tanning beds.

Beneficial effects for health

In addition to feeling good about yourself being tanned, the use of tanning beds, especially in winter, promotes a sense of relaxation and well-being. The sun is essential to the human body to synthesize vitamin D. In some people, exposure to the sun is very low and in this case, it may be interesting to use tanning devices. But a short exposure to the sun and a balanced diet is generally sufficient to ensure synthesis. If tanning is good for the person who practice it must, however, ensure follow certain guidelines:

* The UV unlimited sessions are dangerous because it takes at least 48 hours between sessions so that the skin repairs itself.
* The eyes should always be protected with, for example, glasses.
* Attention to the combination drug / tanning. Antidepressants, antibiotics, censorial, antiphonals and diabetes increase the photo sensitivity of the skin and cause burns.

Who can perform artificial tanning?

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), an independent body recommends that people at risk of not using artificial tanning. These people belong to the following groups:

* people belonging to skin photo type I or II
* children and young people under 18 years
* people who have a large number of moles (nevi)
* those who tend to have freckles
* subjects who have a history of frequent sunburns during childhood
* people who have precancerous skin lesions or cancer
* people whose skin is damaged by the sun
* those makeup (cosmetics can enhance the UV sensitivity)

Finally, individuals taking medications must first seek advice from their doctor.