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Many Still Ignore Dangers of Indoor Tanning
by Dr. Michael L. Maris, MD



Dr. Michael L. Maris, MD
Plano, TX

Dr. Michael L. Maris, past president of Dallas Dermatological Society, received the American Cancer Society Award for organizing and im- plementing skin cancer screening project. Dr. Maris has also been listed in the "Best Doctors in America" in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003,2004, DMagazine's "Best Doctors in Dallas" in 1999, 2000 & 2001, 2004, D Magazine Best Cosmetic Dermatologists in Dallas 2003, Consumers Research Council of America - "Best Physicians-Cosmetic Surgery" and received the Texas State Senate Recognition for outstanding contributions to the field of Dermatology in 2001.


For more information, visit our website
or the Skin Cancer Foundation's website

Despite warnings that tanning devices increase the risk of skin cancer and other problems, people continue to patronize tanning salons and use tanning equipment at home. Doctors are seeing skin cancer, itching, redness, and skin dryness in users of tanning equipment – even in those who have attended only a few sessions. Doctors also report that tanners’ skin usually appears much older than it is. Why are the warnings not being heeded? Researchers have discovered that most people believe tanning devices are somehow safer than direct sunlight. Home tanners generally use their equipment longer than when tanning in the sun, and they frequently fail to use goggles to protect their eyes. The intensity of the lamps varies, causing users to misjudge tanning time. Complicating the dangers are medications that increase sensitivity to light, thereby intensifying the damage caused by tanning. These medications include oral contraceptives, antibiotics, ibuprofen, and anti-hypertensive drugs.

The tanning industry remains unregulated and continues to grow. Women’s and other magazines are full of advertisements for the equipment. As a result, the president of the American Academy of Dermatology is suggesting an intensified health education campaign – perhaps in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration – to increase public awareness of tanning equipment’s dangers.


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