Tanning May Put Very-Light-Skinned Youth at Higher Risk

Second study encourages more states to restrict young peoples' access to tanning salons
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Very-light-skinned children who tan develop more nevi than their counterparts who do not, which may indicate increased risk of developing melanoma when they are older, according to a study published in the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology, while another study in the same issue recommends more states implement controls on youth access to tanning facilities.

Jenny Aalborg, of the University of Colorado in Denver, and colleagues conducted a study of 131 very-light-skinned Caucasian children without red hair and 444 darker-skinned Caucasian children without red hair, and found that very-light-skinned, minimally tanned children had a mean 14.8, 18.8 and 22.3 nevi at 6, 7 and 8 years of age, respectively, compared to 21.2, 27.9, and 31.9 nevi over the same time frame for their tanned counterparts. The researchers did not find a relationship between tanning and the number of nevi in darker-skinned Caucasian children.

Latrice C. Pichon, Ph.D., of San Diego State University and the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues conducted a telephone survey of 3,647 indoor tanning facilities and found that there was a correlation between state youth access laws and requirements for parental consent and accompaniment.

"We encourage more states to adopt indoor tanning bans for minors," Pichon and colleagues write. "Bans such as these may both reduce youth access in a direct way and more forcefully educate parents about the real dangers of indoor tanning."

Abstract - Aalborg
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Abstract - Pichon
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