Dr. Oz Is Wrong On This One

Millions of patients turn to Dr. Oz for advice about their health. He makes complicated health issues easily understandable. Like any doctor, we don’t expect him to be correct all the time. Recently he made a mistake. He recommended using tanning beds for their health benefits.

The only known health benefit of ultraviolet B light (which is in some, not all tanning beds) is to increase vitamin D levels. We know that using tanning beds increases the risk of getting melanoma and the risk of getting other skin cancers. Fortunately, we also know there’s a safe and inexpensive way to increase your vitamin D3 level — simply take vitamin D supplements.

I’m sure if he  consulted a dermatologist (and it needn’t be me), then Dr. Oz would be better informed and would modify his advice. Melanoma skin cancer rates are increasing (while most other cancers are falling) and death from nodular melanoma skin cancer is unchanged despite decades of advances in medicine. We need to give our patients the best evidence we have so they can keep themselves and their families safe.

If this issue is important to you, then please help me by sharing  your thoughts with Dr. Oz and his audience.

5 thoughts on “Dr. Oz Is Wrong On This One”

  1. yet another reason i dont like Dr Oz. He loves to take on huge problems, scare the hell out of people, then give advise that is minimally helpful at best.

  2. Melanoma_mama says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue. Dr Oz was wrong, and the message he sent his viewers was extremely dangerous. On tanning industry blogs, he was celebrated as a hero, and they stated they were getting lots of new tanning bed customers because Dr Oz had recommended using tanning beds on his show. He later stated on his blog that he had been misunderstood and that tanning beds are not safe. However as far as I know, he has yet to say that publicly on his show.

    I am extremely passionate about this subject because I have seen first-hand the results of tanning bed use. My daughter Jaime was diagnosed with melanoma at age 20, following years of using tanning beds. She spent her entire adult life fighting this evil disease, but when she was 29, the melanoma won. And all for the sake of a tan. No tan is healthy; no tanning bed is safe. And if my Jaime was here now she would tell you that no tan is worth dying for.

    Thank you again Dr. Benabio for discussing this important topic. And shame on Dr Oz!

  3. Thanks, Dr Benabio!

    We work so hard (in and out of the office) to help teens understand risks of tanning and I appreciate your clear advice here. Thanks so much for your clear commitment to health and your courage to speak out and provide education.
    Here’s a post I wrote for parents about risks of tanning and UV light. “10 Tips for Tanning”

    Here’s a post I wrote on tanning beds being outlawed in CA:

    As always, let me know how I can help.

  4. Bless you for this straight forward reality check about indoor tanning. UVA tanning beds were bad enough for increasing skin cancer risks, but UVB is frightening. I was stunned by Dr. Oz’s segment on using UVB tanning to boost vitamin D levels. I’ve written heaps about it in the hopes of empowering people to make the right choices for their skin and health and this message sets us all back and will put people at greater risk for the tragedy of melanoma.

    Answering the question about

    Cause and effect between UV exposure and skin cancer: http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/do-sunburns-and-tanning-cause-melanoma/

    UVB tanning and skin cancer: http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/what-is-a-sunburn/

    UVA tanning and skin cancer: http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/what-is-a-tan/

    Tanning addiction http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog/tanning-addiction-dermatologists-personal-story/

    Cynthia Bailey MD, Dermatologist

  5. Thank you for noting this. Dr. Oz’s position is contrary to that of the dermatology community and the AAD.

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