Dermatology Private Practice
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 082 3159
I am a Dermatology Physician Assistant. For the past eight years seeing approximately 800 patients each month - I have done thousands of skin exams and biopsied hundreds, if not thousands, of skin cancers. In our practice we surgically remove 60-90 skin cancers each week. Excessive ultraviolet light exposure is clearly linked to all forms of skin cancer and permanent changes in the texture, appearance, and elasticity of skin. The most striking skin changes are those associated with tanning bed use and this is particularly evident in individuals of lighter skin who push hard in the tanning beds seeking a darker skin tone. Tanning bed use is also a factor in the increased numbers of new melanoma skin cancers, as well as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Melanoma skin cancers are being diagnosed in younger individuals and are positively correlated with tanning bed use at an early age, usually teens focused on a "healthy tanned look" to the skin -who has their first melanoma diagnosed in their 20's or 30's. Advertising must not mislead consumers about the associated risks of tanning. Smokers know tobacco contributes to lung cancer risk and these products carry warning labels. Everyone who chooses to use a tanning bed must be informed of the real risk of increasing their chances of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Those who have had multiple surgeries (some of which are disfiguring) to remove skin cancers and those who have lost their lives to melanoma are always telling me, "I wish I had known....." I urge you to Stop the misleading advertising which promises no links to melanoma or skin cancer as this is completely false. A Concerned Dermatology Physician Assistant.