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Indoor Tanning

Using a tanning bed, booth or sunlamp to get tan is called indoor tanning. Indoor tanning can cause skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation also can cause cataracts and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma). Indoor tanning became a regulated environment in Pennsylvania on July 7, 2014. All tanning facilities within Pennsylvania must be registered with the Department of Health.

Facts about Indoor Tanning

Tanning indoors is not safer than tanning in the sun.

Indoor tanning and tanning outside are both dangerous. Although indoor tanning devices operate on a timer, the exposure to UV rays can vary based on the age and type of light bulbs. Indoor tanning is designed to give you high levels of UV radiation in a short time. You can get a burn from tanning indoors, and even a tan indicates damage to your skin.

A base tan is not a safe tan.

A tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays. A base tan does little to protect you from future damage to your skin caused by UV exposure. In fact, people who indoor tan are more likely to report getting sunburned.

Minors cannot tan in Pennsylvania. It’s illegal to tan if you’re under 16. 17 year olds can tan with a parent or legal guardian's written authorization.

If you are 16 and under and tanning you’re breaking the law. If your parents know you are tanning they are breaking the law. If you are 17 and your parents did not give written authorization it’s illegal. You and your parents are breaking the law

Indoor tanning facilities in Pennsylvania MUST be registered.
All indoor tanning facilities within Pennsylvania must register to operate within the commonwealth. If an indoor facility knowingly violate the Indoor Tanning Regulation Act they must cease operation within Pennsylvania. If the tanning facility continues to operate unregistered, they will be contacted by the Department of Health's Office of Legal Counsel who will take further action.

  • A non-registered facility is an illegal facility.
  • Tanning at an unregistered facility is breaking the law.

Process to Reopen PA


If you need additional assistance or have any questions regarding the registration application, please contact:

Bureau of Community Program Licensure
Attn: Tanning Registration
555 Walnut St.
7th Floor, Suite 701
Harrisburg, PA 17101