The Truth About Tanning
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- There are nearly 22,000 tanning salons across the United States, serving about 28 million customers.
- Out of the 28 million people who tan indoors, 2.3 million are teens.
- 70% of people who go to tanning salons are white females between 16 to 29 years old.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel stated that ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources from tanning beds are known to be cancer-causing.
- Melanoma rates have increased in the last three decades. About 76,000 U.S. adults will be diagnosed with the cancer-type this year. About 9,200 are expected to die from the disease.
- The risk of melanoma is 75% higher for people who start tanning indoors before the age of 30.
- Indoor tanning can lead to skin aging, immune suppression and eye damage.
- Only one-third of people use sunscreen while tanning.
- 58% of adolescent tanning bed users have burns due to constant exposure.
- Only 36 states restrict indoor tanning by minors.
Sources: American Academy of Dermatology & USA Today
You can minimize the risk of skin cancer and melanoma by doing the following:
- Protect your skin.
- Stay out of the sun during the midday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Wear protective clothing. This includes a hat with a brim to shade your ears and neck, a shirt with sleeves to cover your shoulders, and pants. The best fabric for skin protection has a tight weave to keep sunlight out.
- Use a sunscreen every day with an SPF of at least 30. Look for a sunscreen that protects against both types of ultraviolet radiation in the sun’s rays-UVA and UVB.
- Use a higher SPF when you are at higher elevations.
- Set a good example for your children by protecting your skin from too much sun.
- Avoid sunbathing and tanning salons. Studies suggest that your risk of melanoma increases by 75% if you start using artificial tanning before you are 30 years old.
- Examine your skin regularly, and have your doctor check your skin during all other health exams, or at least once a year or visit one of Melanoma Know More’s free monthly skin cancer screening clinics.
By making the promise, you commit to not intentionally lay out in the sun or use tanning beds. You understand that by getting a tan you put yourself at risk for developing melanoma, which can be fatal if not diagnosed early.