The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2012-02-27T12:20:11Z Costhetics: Australia Needs a National Tanning Bed Ban 2012-02-27T12:20:11Z costhetics-australia-needs-a-national-tanning-bed-ban The NSW government recently banned the use of tanning beds. In the wake of the ban, which takes effect in 2014, the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA) urged other state governments to follow this lead."We fully support the call for more and better regulations on this front," says Louisa McKay, Director of Costhetics.com.au, a website whose mission is informing and educating Australians on all aspects of cosmetic enhancement.Tanning Bed Risks"Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world [1][2]. Although we all grew up with sun-safety messages playing in the background, we obviously haven't taken them seriously enough: We are still the skin cancer capital of the world [3]. All Australians, not just the policy makers, need to get serious about skin cancer prevention."In our line of work we analyse a lot of published research about the harmful effects of exposure to the sun, and the devastation caused by ultraviolet rays on Australians' skin. Radiation emitted by tanning beds can be three to five times more intense than the midday sun. Tanning-bed use increases the risk of melanoma by as much as 75 percent [3]. And compared with non-users, people who use tanning beds are 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma and 2.5 times more likely to get squamous cell carcinoma [4]. In the light of these facts, it is really surprising that more state governments are not banning tanning beds altogether."Additional RisksAccording to McKay, the damage caused by getting a tan is not limited to the cancer risk. "Even without tanning bed exposure, Australians' skin begins ageing early. People in their late 20s are showing signs of sun damage", she says [5]. "Throw a tanning bed into this equation and you have skin that ages way beyond what nature intended. There is no upside to working on a tan."Frequent exposure to the sun's rays prematurely ages the skin, causing wrinkles and dark spots. UV-damaged skin loses its natural suppleness and by middle age has become dry and leathery. It is a mistake to believe that tanning makes scars disappear or dries up acne. Tanning makes scars darker and can worsen acne over time. In the short term cellulite may become less noticeable, but prolonged exposure to sunrays can make it worse [6]. Tanning also thins the skin and weakens the immune system. It makes the skin less able to recover from skin damage or ward off infections. Tanning beds may also cause eye damage and lead to cataracts [7]. When asked about the expected backlash from the tanning bed industry and from consumers, McKay was hopeful:"When tanning beds were banned in California last year, there was a backlash, but the ban held up. The California legislation actually banned teenagers - who make up a large part of tanning-bed users - from using them, even with parental consent. Australian melanoma campaigners who were looking forward to a more extensive Australia-wide ban have been disappointed that the recent legislation didn't ban teenagers Australia wide. Young skins are especially vulnerable, and UV damage has a cumulative effect. Exposure to tanning rays before the age of 34 has been found to double the risk of melanoma. Australia has a long way to go before we cease to be the skin cancer capital of the world."About CostheticsCosthetics is Australia's trusted source of cosmetic surgery information, dedicated to informing and educating consumers about all aspects of cosmetic enhancement. For more information about Costhetics.com.au contact Louisa McKay on 0448 677 320, or email louisa@costhetics.com.auhttp://www.costhetics.com.auSources[1] http://www.costhetics.com.au/news/the-high-cost-of-a-tan/[2]http://www.health.gov.au/internet/skincancer/publishing.nsf/Content/fact-2[3] http://www.cancer.org.au/cancersmartlifestyle/SunSmart/Skincancerfactsandfigures.htm[4] http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm186687.htm[5] http://www.scribd.com/doc/36578218/Basal-Cell-Carcinoma-Pathophysiology-and-Management[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1921818[7] http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/dermatology-a-to-z/acne/tips[8] http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm186687.htm