As fall sets in and summer glows fade, many people are looking to keep that “sun-kissed” complexion longer. Many people feel that they look better when their skin is tanned, and they think about getting a monthly membership to a tanning bed salon to keep their skin from being pale throughout the colder months. However, it is important to take a step back. The lure to have a tanned complexion can be a dangerous trap to your skin’s health.
According to the National Library of Medicine, indoor tanning is estimated to cause more than 450,000 new skin cancers, including more than 10,000 melanomas, each year.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the DNA of your skin cells. UV rays are the cause of premature aging, skin discoloration, and skin cancer. While the sun’s UV rays are dangerous without skin protection, indoor tanning is more dangerous because tanning beds can emit ultraviolet radiation at a level 10 – 15 times stronger than you would receive from sun exposure. The stronger the radiation levels, the deeper and more severe skin cell damage is.
Some of the most dedicated “tanners” are teenage girls and young adults. The pressure on young girls to look a certain way is insanely high. Girls often feel pressured to keep up appearances, so before prom or cheer performances, they often schedule weekly tanning appointments. While this brings immediate results, it also drastically increases the risk of skin cancer. Studies show that people who begin tanning at a young age increase their risk of developing melanoma by almost 75 percent. This is an alarming rate, and parents and their children need to be aware of the dangers.
The desire to have tanned skin should never trump your need to have healthy skin. Skin cancer should never be dismissed or taken lightly, and you should do your part to avoid anything that would promote it. While you may not be able to erase the damage done to your skin from using a tanning bed in the past, you can certainly turn the tide and promote healthy skin today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM