CPR Online

Tanning with a Side of…Cancer

By Lianne Palazzolo
Public Relations Assistant

Dirt brown and often orange has become the new favorite skin color for young females across the country. Why sit in the sun for days on end during the summer just to be sheet-white in the winter? The answer is easy. Don’t.

On an average day in the United States, more than 1 million people tan in tanning salons. Nearly 70 percent of tanning salon visitors are Caucasian girls and women between the ages of 16 and 29.[1]

As a society, we all seem to choose any alternative that is quick and easy. All of the new technology being developed currently is to help us save time, money, and stress when accomplishing any task imaginable. This may be the main reason indoor tanning has become such an epidemic amongst the American population, mostly in teenage females, in recent years. For some reason, girls feel the need to be as tan as possible at all times of the year, which hardly looks natural. They don’t seem to care that they spend thirty dollars, at the very least, per month to make their skin look like leather with a serious increased risk of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in America. It is almost like a competition of who get the darkest, because they really believe that darkest means prettiest.

Indoor tanning devices are cancer-causing agents that are just as severe as tobacco. Studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, according to The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA).[1]

The dangers of indoor tanning are not ones to be ignored. When a young girl sees a friend, family, or stranger with skin cancer they tend to think “that will never be me,” but the harsh reality is that it may be in the years to come. While skin cancer is the biggest concern amongst indoor tanning patrons, another unwanted detriment is that it severely increases risk of premature aging of the skin, primarily wrinkles. While they may think being dark is attractive now, they will not feel the same when they turn 40 year- old and have a face full of wrinkles and a chest full of sun-spots.

What is the best way to stay skin-cancer free and keep smooth and striking skin? Stay away from indoor tanning. Even though all ultraviolet rays damage the skin, even natural sunlight, it is important not to increase the damage by frying your skin in a tanning bed. If you know you are going to be in the sun, the natural sun, make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen to avoid sun burn and appalling skin later in life. Some alternatives and a UV-free path to tanned skin are spray tanning or tanning cream, such as Jergen’s Natural Glow.

Sun-damaged skin:

1. “Indoor Tanning.” The American Academy of Dermatology Association. Web. 16 June 2011. .

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