Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Are Tanning Beds Harmful?

This Q&A was adapted from my just-released-book, Fit over 50: Make Simple Choices Today for a Healthier, Happier You. It was adapted for the July issue of Today’s Christian Living. If you don’t have a subscription, I highly recommend it.

Dear Dr. Walt,

My wife and I are having a debate. I believe tanning beds are safe and the salon I go to says so. She’s read that they’re not safe at all. Who’s right?

—Tan in New York

Dear Bronzed,

A friend said, “When I married Miss Right, I didn’t realize her first name was Always.” Chock another one up for the missus.

When it comes to tanning beds or sun lights, I never recommend them, nor do dermatologists. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS –, “Exposure to the ultraviolet light from tanning beds can impact the skin in a variety of ways—including wrinkles, sun spots or freckles. And for one in every five Americans, this exposure can lead to skin cancer.” 

The use of tanning beds or sun lamps is risky because the UV radiation they deliver will damage your skin. Dermatologists and we family physicians warn people to NOT use tanning beds or sun lamps of any type as there is growing evidence they increase your risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers.

So, how can you get a SAFE sun tan? I’ll answer that question next week!

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2019. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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