Daughters Follow Moms into Dangerous Tanning Salons

When it comes to indoor tanning, daughters tend to follow in their mother's dangerous footsteps, according to new research.

Indoor tanners are four times more likely to say their moms use tanning beds than people who are not indoor tanners, according to the study.

In addition, 65 percent of indoor tanners have a family member who also uses an indoor tanning bed, compared with 28 percent of indoor tanners who don't have a family member who tans, the study said.

Past research has shown that indoor tanning increases the risk of melanoma , the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent.

The study, which included 3,800 white, non-Hispanic young women ages 14 to 22, also showed that use of tanning beds is not a secret in families. Ninety-four percent of indoor tanners said their parents know that they used or currently use an indoor tanning bed, the study said.

Tanning is a dangerous, unhealthy behavior, similar in seriousness to smoking or drinking alcohol, where teens often succumb to peer pressure, Dr. Ellen Marmur, a professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said in a statement. Yet, it is troubling that so many parents are aware of their teens' use of tanning beds and allow this harmful behavior to continue or even set a bad example themselves by indoor tanning ."

Peer pressure seems to be a factor in indoor tanning , researchers said. Forty-nine percent of indoor tanners said they felt peer pressure to go indoor tanning, compared with 28 percent of people who do not indoor tan. Ninety-six percent of indoor tanners said they also had friends who indoor tan, the study said.

Parents should educate their kids about the cancer risks that come from exposure to ultraviolet rays from indoor tanning, and should discourage or prohibit the activity in the family, Marmur said.

The study results were released today (May 9) by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Pass it on: Teens and young women who using tanning beds are more likely to have moms who also tan than teens and young women who don't tan.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Amanda Chan on Twitter @AmandaLChan.

Amanda Chan
Amanda Chan was a staff writer for Live Science Health. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.