Study identifies characteristics of sunbed users, motivation for tanning

October 15, 2012

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.

Explore further: Use of sunbeds leads to 3000+ cases of melanoma a year in Europe

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

Related Stories

Use of sunbeds leads to 3000+ cases of melanoma a year in Europe

July 24, 2012
Of 63,942 new cases of cutaneous melanoma (a form of skin cancer) diagnosed each year in Europe an estimated 3,438 (5.4%) are related to sunbed use. Sunbed users are at a 20% increased relative risk of skin cancer compared ...

Top German court upholds sunbed ban for under-18s

January 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

February 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

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

0 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.