Want a tan? Get a doctor's note.

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Just as minors can't buy cigarettes, Texas lawmaker Burt Solomons says your children shouldn't use a tanning bed without a doctor's consent. Dermatologist Jenni Holman agrees.

"Just like we have smoking regulations, I think that ultraviolet light is a known carcinogen and we should help protect our minors," said Holman.

But Melissa Charba at Tyler's Tanning Zone, believes the bill would do more harm than good.

"It will take teenagers back to a time, like, when I was a teenage girl who would use the baby oil and iodine and get on the roof of our houses to get a tan," said Charba.

She says indoor tanning has greatly improved over the years.

"We go off your skin tone,' explained Charba. "You're timed according to the bed and your skin. So, it's a much more controlled atmosphere than the sun."

"They've taken biopsies of skin after someone's been tanning and there's actual DNA damage from that exposure in the tanning bed, and that's your body's protective response to that injury from those ultraviolet lights," explained Holman.

Despite health concerns, Charba and some moms we talked to, don't think the government should step in.

"Especially as a small business owner, it's definitely infringing on people's right, and as a parent, I believe that I can make a good decision for my child," said Charba.

"Maybe a doctor's note is a bit too much, but parental consent I think is perfectly legit," said Robertson

Whether the bill passes or not, Holman encourages teens and parents to consider the dangers of prolonged exposure.

"Risk of skin cancers, and even in tanning beds as well that aren't well supervised, you've got the risk of eye damage such as cataracts and ocular melanoma," said Holman.

Right now, only children under 13 need a doctor's permission. We want to hear from you on this issue. First, take the web poll on our home page, then click on the story "Texas teens tanning taboo". You can leave your thoughts in the comment box at the end of the story.