Study identifies characteristics of sunbed users, motivation for tanning

A telephone survey of 4,851 individuals in Germany suggests the overall prevalence of sunbed use was nearly 40 percent for participants who had ever used one and 14.6 percent had used a tanning bed within the last 12 months, according to a study published Online First by Archives of Dermatology.

Exposure to (UVR) is one of the main for developing and are a common source of UVR. There also is evidence that the use of sunbeds significantly increases the risk of skin cancer, according to the study background.

Sven Schneider, Ph.D., M.A., of the Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and , Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany, and colleagues sought to determine rates for sunbed use, investigate motivations for tanning, and identify targets for interventions to prevent skin cancer. A total of 4,851 individuals (ages 14 to 45 years old, 50.9 percent men) participated in the study, which included a nationwide telephone survey of the general population in Germany.

"The prevalence of ever use of sunbeds among the 14- to 45-year-olds in Germany was 39.2 percent, and every seventh person in this age group had used a sunbed during the last 12 months. A particularly large percentage of women, , immigrants and the employed reported using solariums," the authors comment.

Compared with men, women were more likely to have ever used a sunbed (49 percent vs. 29.8 percent) or to be currently using sunbeds (17.7 percent vs. 11.7 percent). Ever and current sunbed use was also more prevalent in persons with skin type III to VI than in those individuals with paler skin (40.7 percent vs. 36.5 percent and 17.4 percent vs. 8.9 percent). Those with an immigrant background were significantly more likely to be currently using a sunbed (19.7 percent vs. 13.2 percent). The main motivations for tanning were relaxation and attractiveness, according to the study results.

"The present study presents target groups for future interventions: For example, such interventions could target occupations in which predominantly younger women work because the group of working women are particularly likely to use sunbeds. Furthermore, the relationship between current sunbed use and immigrant background indicates a specific need for the education of this population subgroup," the authors conclude.

Researchers also suggest their study findings emphasize the need for standardized education of sunbed personnel by independent institutions that are not associated with the sunbed industry. The authors note that personnel often fail to inform sunbed users that their motivations for tanning are not medically sound.

More information: Arch Dermatol. Published online October 15, 2012. doi:10.1001/2013.jamadermatol.562

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Top German court upholds sunbed ban for under-18s

Jan 19, 2012

Germany's highest court ruled Thursday that minors should be banned from visiting tanning studios due to health concerns, upholding a law that caused controversy in one of Europe's top sunbed markets.

Sunburnt Australia to pull plug on sunbed tans

Feb 19, 2012

Jay Allen used to love having what he thought was a healthy tan -- so much so that he would regularly expose his body to the lights of a sunbed to ensure he maintained his overall colour.

Recommended for you

Independent safety investigation needed in the NHS

1 hour ago

The NHS should follow the lead of aviation and other safety-critical industries and establish an independent safety investigation agency, according to a paper published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The au ...

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

5 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.