Tanning: Higher healthcare costs for skin cancer treatment

For those who have a liking for showing off their perfectly, artificially tanned skin, this might come as a big shock, but a study has shown that tanning is one of the big tickets items in healthcare costs across the U.S. Indoor tanning increases the risk of the deadly ailment skin cancer, which is quite an expensive disease to treat. The study shows that almost $345 million of healthcare costs per year can be traced back to tanning. Tanning is also linked to the risk of early death.

The study

The study has been conducted by the University of North Caroline researchers who discovered that tanning machines contributed a whopping percentage of the total healthcare costs thanks to their link to skin cancer. The data studied was from the year 2015 and a total of 263,600 cases of this kind of cancer were recorded this year and they could be linked back to the use of tanning machines. For those affected by the dreaded disease, the tan cost them around $127 billion over their lifetime.

Rising skin cancer cases not deterring Americans

The strange thing about the whole scenario is that the link between tanning and skin cancer is quite well known and the fact that the incidences of skin cancer are rising dramatically across the U.S. have been well publicised too. However, none of this seems to be deterring the Americans from going in for tanning or getting their own tanning machines to use whenever they need to.

A stunning 30 million people say that they use tanning machines at least once yearly. This is a figure that has been steadily increasing over the past two decades. The study, published in the Journal of Cancer Policy also has the experts admitting that these are actually rather conservative figures. That means, the actual magnitude of the problem may be far more serious than the numbers indicate.

Another study done by the San Diego State University had an interesting addition to make. They found that male black teens who are non- heterosexual are at high risk of developing skin cancer via tanning too. This belays the idea that youngsters only opt for tanning to darken their skin tone. The researchers believe that tanning among this group is more of a coping mechanism to deal with their internal struggles by appearing more outgoing or athletic.

Leave a Comment