Living in Florida eliminates much of the desire to fake bake since we’re all exposed to plenty of sun on a daily basis, but it’s normal to occasionally want to enhance your “healthy glow” with a little artificial tanning. And since nearly every strip mall contains a tanning salon and free tanning comes with many gym memberships, it can be hard to pass up a quick tan. However, use of a tanning bed is never a good idea.
Research from the National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organization, the Mayo Clinic, the Melanoma Research Foundation, and numerous other medical researchers agree that tanning beds increase the risk for developing skin cancer in users.
Did you know there are more cases of skin cancer caused by indoor tanning than cases of lung cancer caused by smoking?
Did you know exposure to UV radiation increases the risk of developing skin cancer, regardless of the source? The sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds all increase risk. (National Cancer Institute)
Did you know the International Agency on Cancer Research has added UV Radiation emitting devices (tanning beds and lamps) to the list of the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation?
Did you know that last week Pennsylvania joined California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Vermont, and Oregon banning the use of tanning beds for all minors under 18, and at least 33 states and the District of Columbia regulate the use of tanning facilities by minors? (National Conference of State Legislatures)
Did you know indoor tanning exposes users to both UV-A and UV-B rays, which damage the skin and can lead to cancer? And that using a tanning bed is particularly dangerous for younger users since those who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma and using tanning beds also increases the risk of wrinkles and eye damage, and changes skin texture. (CDC)
Did you know that melanoma risk increases 1.5% per tanning session?
Did you know the World Heath Organization has classified tanning beds as ‘carcinogenic to humans,’ (its highest level of risk) putting them in the same category as tobacco and asbestos?
Did you know research suggests that the doses of Type A ultraviolet light emitted by high-pressure tanning units may be as much as 10 to 15 times higher than that of the midday sun?
Did you know tanning bed users have a significantly increased chance of developing melanoma. (Melanoma Research Foundation)
Now you know, tanning beds don’t offer a safe alternative to natural sunlight. Learn to love your skin, even if lacking color. A little make up and self tanner goes a long way toward creating that “healthy” look in a much more healthy way. Protect your skin. Don’t fake bake.
May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, and the first Monday in May (today) is Melanoma Monday.
Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? Even so, with early detection, it can be easily cured. So on Melanoma Monday take time to learn the ABCDE’s of skin cancer identification.
A – Assymetrical
Two sides of mole do not match.
B – Border
Uneven borders, meaning the edges may be scalloped or notched.
C – Color
Having a variety of colors is another warning sign.
D – Diameter
Melanomas are usually larger than 6mm or 1/4″ in diameter, larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
E – Evolving
Any change in size, color, diameter as well as itching, bleeding, or crusting points to a potential problem.
You know as well as I that you need to use sun protection year round, but Spring Break signals beach time and sunbathing so it’s a good time to remind you to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.
Use sunscreen EVERY day. It’s easy to protect your face with moisturizer and makeup since most include sunscreen, but don’t forget other parts of your body exposed to the sun.
Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours. This is especially important for days at the beach, boating, fishing, or any other all day outdoor activity.
Wear a broad brimmed hat to protect your face and head from the sun (and encourage the men you care about to do the same!)
Wear UV blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and eyelids.
Clothing serves as a great protector from the sun. Long-sleeve shirts and pants work wonders. The more skin you cover, the better.
Whatever you do, DO NOT BURN! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, doubles if you burn 5 times in your life.
And don’t forget to examine your skin from head to toe regularly. I’ve had basal cell skin cancer in my scalp which is hard to explain since my scalp has always been covered with a head full of hair, and both Dad and I have had a variety of treatments to take care of skin cancer on our faces, arms, and backs.
My cousin recently celebrated her 40th birthday at UNC meeting with doctors and a medical team regarding participation in a clinical trial to treat her re-occurrence of melanoma, so it’s obvious that you’re not too young to start thinking about protecting your skin.
Living in Florida, you live in paradise. The perfect place to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, bicycling, and theme parks in the famous Florida sunshine; however, you’re also exposed to more UV radiation than those living farther from the equator so you need to take more precautions. Exposure to UV radiation increases the risk of cataracts, suppresses the immune system, and prematurely ages your skin, and of course it causes skin cancer. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s “only skin cancer”…because it’s still cancer. Be smart. Enjoy paradise, but use precaution when in the sun.
Yes, it’s Spring Break, time to remind you to use protection…protection from the harmful rays of the sun!