Why You Shouldn't Lie To Your Doctor About Using Tanning Beds

Many are aware that conversations between you and your doctor are privileged and confidential. And although we know they won't spread our health woes or newly diagnosed conditions to their colleagues, opening up remains difficult. Many people struggle to admit the whole truth and nothing but the truth during an examination. If you've found yourself dodging the truth or letting a few fibs fly while discussing your health history with a healthcare professional, you're not the only guilty party. According to two recent national studies shared via NCBI, a whopping 40% – 60% of Americans have admitted to not being entirely truthful with their doctor.

Being completely candid with your doctor may embarrass you. But we urge you to be more forthcoming — even when they ask about the health habits that you are reluctant to discuss, for instance, your use of tanning beds. USA Today reports that the FDA estimates 30 million American adults and teens use tanning beds each year.

Be honest about your tanning bed use

Unfortunately, catching too many rays a little too often can wreak havoc on your health. The Skin Cancer Foundation shares that at least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. And the probability only appears to be increasing. From 2011 to 2021, the number of diagnosed melanoma cases increased by a whopping 44%.

Seeing that many of us are already at risk of developing a form of skin cancer over the course of our lives, our time spent in the sun should be closely monitored and openly discussed with medical professionals. According to an interview with Insider, Dr. Gaspere Geraci, family physician and market chief medical officer, had this to say: "You need to be honest about the amount of time spent in the sun without proper sunscreen use — and any related family history — because otherwise, you may not receive as comprehensive of a skin screening as you should."

Okay, so you might be subject to a light lecture from your doctor if you're a fan of tanning beds. But if you truly want to get the best care or preventative care available, your doctor needs to know. Getting a little sun definitely has a few uplifting benefits. However, you should always be honest with your doctor about how often you are exposed to potentially harmful UV rays.