American Academy of Dermatology Lauds U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Update to Indoor Tanning Consumer Education Web Pages

Thursday, December 3, 2009 General News
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Dec. 2 The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the recent update to its consumer health information Web pages on indoor tanning, entitled "Indoor Tanning: The Risks of Ultraviolet Rays." These Web pages provide consumers with updated information about all FDA-regulated products. Sunlamps and products that contain them, such as tanning beds, are regulated by the FDA.

"The American Academy of Dermatology welcomes this reiteration of the fact that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation -- either from the sun or from artificial sources such as indoor tanning -- increases the risk of developing skin cancer, especially melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," said dermatologist David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. "The revision of these Web pages comes at a particularly opportune time since many individuals may be heading to indoor tanning facilities to extend their summer tan or to tan for the holiday party season. The Academy hopes that this information will persuade individuals to rethink this choice and stop using or avoid indoor tanning altogether."

This year, more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States -- exceeding the incidence of all other cancers combined. It is estimated that there will be about 121,840 new cases of melanoma in 2009. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

The updated consumer health information Web pages include a revised section on the link between indoor tanning and cancer with information about the re-categorization of tanning devices into the highest cancer risk category -- carcinogenic to humans -- by the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Through an analysis of the scientific literature, IARC concluded that the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds and sunlamps begins before 30 years of age. The updated pages also include the story of Brittany Lietz Cicala, who shares the story of her melanoma diagnosis at age 20 and who was featured in the Academy's 2008 public service advertising about the dangers of indoor tanning.

"Along with our support of the update to these FDA consumer health information Web pages, the Academy is looking forward to the FDA's public advisory committee meeting on March 25, 2010," stated Dr. Pariser. "We are hopeful that this meeting may lead to recommendations for changes to the current classification of UV emitting devices, such as sunlamps, used for tanning," said Dr. Pariser.

Recently, the Academy commended the Howard County, Md., Board of Health which adopted a regulation that prohibits the use of indoor tanning devices for all residents under the age of 18. This regulation is the most restrictive of its kind in the nation.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) position statement on indoor tanning opposes indoor tanning and supports a ban on the production and sale of indoor tanning equipment for non-medical purposes. Additionally, the AADA urges the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action that will ban the sale and use of tanning equipment for non-medical purposes. Unless and until the FDA bans the sale and use of tanning equipment for non-medical purposes, the AADA supports the following requirements for indoor tanning facilities:

The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. A sister organization to the Academy, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) is the resource for government affairs and practice information for dermatologists, and plays a major role in formulating policies to enhance the delivery of quality dermatologic care. With a membership of more than 16,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or

Editor's Note: The FDA's new consumer health information Web pages on indoor tanning can be accessed at

-- No minor should be permitted to use tanning devices. -- A Surgeon General's warning should be placed on all tanning devices. -- No person or facility should advertise the use of any ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B tanning device using wording such as "safe," "safe tanning," "no harmful rays," "no adverse effect," or similar wording or concepts.

SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology

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