Is Tanning Bad for Your Health?

Bailey Camp, Health Editor

Tanning beds increase your chances of Melanoma by 75%! With winter right around the corner and prom coming up, many of you are thinking about visiting the tanning bed.  Well, you might want to think again!  Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and if untreated, it can be deadly.  Idaho has one of the highest rates of melanoma and one of the highest death rates from melanoma in the United States. Using a tanning bed just once increases your risk of melanoma by 75%.  Know what you’re getting into!  I spoke With Tina Ghirarduzzi, MPH about the issue of tanning beds and she was kind enough to let me answer my questions.

I believe that normal tanning damages your skin less than using a tanning bed in the winter, so why do it?”

— Natasha Scorah

Q: Why are you concerned about the usage of tanning beds?

“Tanning beds are a big concern. Idaho has some of the highest rates of Melanoma in the country.  Idaho’s rates of melanoma are 34 % higher than the national average and using a tanning bed just once increase your chances of getting melanoma by 75%.”

Q: Why did you get into the panhandle health district, what was your motivation?

“ I am not sure I am going to answer this question correctly; but, I started working in Public Health because I was always interested in the health field.  Growing up I had thought about going to nursing or becoming a physician assistant, but I like the idea of preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases more than treating them.  Panhandle Health District’s whole mission is to prevent disease, disability, and premature death; to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the health and quality of the environment.  I really enjoy being able to work for an organization which does such great work in the community I grew up in.”

Q: Is there a cure for melanoma?

“Treatment for melanoma varies depending upon the stage at which is it diagnosed.  Early stages of melanomas can be treated with surgery alone. More advanced stages of melanoma requires other treatments such as radiation, and chemotherapy.”

Q: Where did you get your statistics for melanoma?

Facts About Skin Cancer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health and Welfare


I asked students about tanning during the winter and this is how they felt on the situation.

Izzy colby said, “It’s already bad for their health so why do it!?”

Natasha Scorah said, “I believe that normal tanning damages your skin less than using a tanning bed in the winter. So why do it.”

Simon Nilges said,”I think it is not worth it to risk your health for good looks.”