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Tanning Beds Especially Dangerous to Young People

If you're thinking that a few visits to the tanning bed will reduce your risk of getting a burn and skin cancer, think again.

The Skin Cancer Foundation says that any ultraviolet (UV) ray can lead to any of three main types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. And so far, no studies have shown that tanning at a salon vs. in natural light can reduce cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, risk of melanoma more than doubles for those who first began using UV lights at age 35 or younger. The risk generally increases with each additional use of tanning lights.

Burning can occur just as easily in a tanning bed as on the beach, and there is no evidence that tanning in a salon prevents burning when a person is exposed to sunlight - particularly for fair-skinned people, who are more likely to burn under any circumstance.

To prevent sunburn, you should apply sun block regularly, limit exposure to the sun, and use protective clothing including hats and sunglasses.