Erythema and ultraviolet indoor tanning: findings from a diary study

Document Type


Publication Date



The use of artificial ultraviolet (UV) indoor tanning (IT) beds increases the risk of skin cancer. The IT industry claims IT devices provide users with control over the amount of UV radiation exposure and thus reduces risks of sunburn (i.e., skin erythema) when tanning. This study aims to establish the prevalence and predictors of IT-related erythema using diary data. Six bimonthly diary surveys were administered to 198 female college IT users. Diaries assessed IT use and IT-related erythema. Among participants who used IT, 66 % experienced at least one episode of erythema and nearly one in five IT sessions resulted in skin erythema. Those who reported the most frequent IT use prior to the study were less likely to experience an IT-related erythema on a given IT session compared to the least experienced IT users. Perceived susceptibility to burns from IT use was positively associated with risk of erythema. Erythema was a frequently reported experience among IT users. Implications for policy makers and behavioral medicine practitioners are discussed