Is it okay to resume tanning after having chemo?

4 answers | Last updated: Nov 29, 2016
Georgie asked...

Is it okay to resume tanning after having chemo?

Expert Answers

Senior Editor Melanie Haiken, who is responsible for's coverage of cancer, general health, and family finance, discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions.

Tanning, either directly in the sun, or in artificial tanning salon booths, is not a good idea for anyone because it increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Tanning beds are the most dangerous because the rays of UV light are even more concentrated. According to the National Cancer Institute, women who use tanning beds more than once a month have a 55 percent higher risk of developing malignant melanoma, the worst kind of skin cancer.

You don't say what type of cancer you've been treated for, but the fact that you've already had cancer puts you at risk of developing either a recurrence or another type of cancer.

If I were you, I'd stick to bottle or spray-on tans; they are safe and can look just as good.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

Tanning isn't safe for anyone, and has finally been identified as a known carcinogen by numerous sources, including the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Tanning beds usually contain large amounts of UV-A, which has wavelengths that penetrate deeper in the skin than UV-B & UV-C to where melanocytes are located, and has therefore been directly linked to melanoma. Why isn't it outlawed if it is a known carcinogen? For the same reason cigarettes are still available - the tanning bed industry is a several billion dollar a year industry with strong lobbying efforts that are able to buy out the common sense of Congress.

Kittyhawk answered...

I've had 2 friends pass away from melanoma. We are only in our 40's. You've dodged 1 bullet. Why would you want to step into the path of another?

Shoregirl answered...

Tanning beds were originally designed to assist medical for people with psoarsis,etc. I am 69 yrs and have sun tanned or tanning bed tanned my entire life. Done in moderation and the best products your skin will thrive.