Indoor tanning sends thousands to ER - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Indoor tanning sends thousands to ER

Indoor tanning injuries can require ER treatment. Indoor tanning injuries can require ER treatment.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

We've all heard the warnings about being at a higher risk for skin cancer if you tan indoors.

However, new research shows indoor tanning is actually sending people to the emergency room.

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average more than 3,200 people visit the ER for injuries related to indoor tanning, like skin burns, passing out and eye injuries.

The study shows that while indoor tanning injuries have declined, thousands still visit the ER every year, most for burns.

ENT Consultant Chris Jung says while getting some sun is important for your body.

However, he said staying in a tanning bed for too long can easily cause you to be burned, which is not good for the body.

"Mostly it burns people that try to take too long of exposure and particularly the lighter skinned types, fitzpatrick one and two, the people that never tan, always burn," Jung said.

Jung said the key is not getting overexposed.

"We try to encourage people not to over do it begin with- an ounce of prevention is worth a pound a cure," Jung said.

While researchers say most people didn't need hospitalization for these injuries, Jung says if you're not careful about tanning it can put you at risk for a host of longer term problems like melanoma, wrinkles and cataracts.

Jamie Baity says she has burned while tanning indoors in the past, but nothing that's ever sent her to the hospital.

To avoid that she says she gradually lengthens the amount she tans.

"Especially during the winter months, I know my skin type and I know I tan easy," Baity said. "But if I haven't tanned for a while, then I need to start off slow and maybe go ten minutes at a time for a couple times and then I gradually build it up, that way I get a nice even tan and I don't burn at all."

Jung encourages people who do tan inside or outside to use eye protection and wear lotion that has an SPF in it.

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