TEENS & TANNING
EVEN ONE PRE-PROM TAN CAN BE DANGEROUS
With prom season just around the corner (Junior Prom is March 24, Senior Prom is June 2), many area teens may be tempted to head to the tanning salon. But experts continue to urge teens (and adults) to think twice about subjecting their bodies to dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can lead to skin cancer, as well as wrinkles, brown spots, and other signs of premature skin aging. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Just one indoor tanning session per year in high school or college boosts the risk of developing potentially deadly melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year raises this risk almost another two percent. The risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a common non-melanoma skin cancer, increases by 25 percent after only one to two indoor tanning sessions. The risk soars to 73 percent after six or more sessions.”
Current regulations require signed parental permission for children under the age of 18 to use a tanning booth. Children under 14 must have a parent present. A far better alternative for those determined to have that bronze glow are the sunless UV-free tanners, which are more sophisticated than the streaky orange tanning sprays of the past and are now available in many different formulations, including creams, lotions, gels, pump sprays, aerosols and wipes. But better still is to encourage children to embrace their own natural skin tone. (Check out the “Go With Your Own Glow” campaign.)
SKIN CANCER IS ON THE RISE
A January 2014 release of recent study results demonstrates that tanning bed use, particularly among young people, is an alarmingly widespread behavior. In the US, 35% of adults and 55% of college students have tanned, and the study found there are more than 419,000 new skin cancer cases attributable to indoor tanning each year. Worldwide, there are more skin cancer cases due to indoor tanning than there are lung cancer cases due to smoking. Read more here...
YOU HAVE TO DIE OF SOMETHING, RIGHT?
Do teens realize the full range of negative effects of tanning? Many do, and continue to tan anyway, citing a range of excuses. Check out this interesting study on the Rationale for Indoor Tanning.