Harmful Effects of Excessive Tanning

Photo of Long Term Effects of Tanning LocateADocYou have probably already heard that using tanning beds can cause many long term health hazards. Experts in dermatology agree that excessive tanning - in tanning beds and in the sun - can be quite dangerous. If you are an avid tanner, you should speak with your dermatologist about how you can stay safe while getting your tan.

Whether you use tanning beds, or you prefer to lay in the sun, you should always take the necessary precautions. Take a moment to review some of the dangerous long term effects associated with excessive tanning.

Age Spots and Wrinkles

Excessive sunlight and indoor tanning can accelerate the effect that aging has on your skin. Harmful UVA rays can deplete the amount of collagen created in your body, creating aged, wrinkly skin in its place. If you have age spots or wrinkles from excessive tanning, your dermatologist may be able to treat your skin to improve its appearance, but the damage may largely be permanent.


Tanning machines have been known to cause allergic reactions in some people, resulting in rashes, scaling, bleeding, hives, and blisters. If exposed to damaging UV rays frequently, these symptoms may re-occur chronically. With repeated use and long term exposure, these rashes can cause rough, thick skin. The sun's effect on the skin widely varies person to person, so speak with your dermatologist to find out how these risks apply to you.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is perhaps the greatest risk posed by excessive sunlight or indoor tanning. Damaged skin tissue caused by excessive UV radiation can increase your risk of skin cancer. Studies have linked skin melanoma and squamous cell cancer to the damage caused by indoor tanning. UV radiation from sunlight is the leading cause of skin cancer, though tanning beds give off radiation that is just as harmful.

To learn more about the long term effects of tanning, read our resources guide or find a dermatologist in your area.

Further Reading

  • With only about a month of summer left, you may be considering going under the knife to maintain that bikini body or be in better shape for next season.  While demand for plastic surgery runs high during the winter months so that patients have time to heal before summer, there is still a significant demand for certain procedures over the warm weather months. According to the results of a recent report by RealSelf.com, patients are still flocking to the plastic surgeon’s office to look “red-carpet ready” or undergo a mini-makeover.

  • Tom Cruise, now 50, has maintained most of his young, boyish looks from his Top Gun days and has some critics wondering if the star has gone under the knife. Cruise recently interviewed with Playboy and revealed that he has never gone under the knife – and probably never will.

  • No. That is not a typo. The Daily Telegraph is reporting 739 is the number of times Joan Rivers had some sort of plastic surgery. Let’s look at this number for a moment. That means, if those procedures were done daily, Joan Rivers would have had something done everyday for more than 2 years.