Knowing the risks of tanning

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Knowing the risks of tanning

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When prom season comes around it isn’t uncommon to start to see lots of orange and red girls from tanning. What many teenagers don’t know is the risk that comes with it.


Most people know that tanning can lead to skin cancer. It also causes premature skin aging, which includes wrinkles, brown spots and lax skin, sunburn and a weakened immune system. says that tanning before the age of 35 makes that person 75 percent more likely to get skin cancer. Each time a tanning bed is used the risk for melanoma increases 59 percent.


“I do not think the risks outway the benefits. A spray tan is the way to go,” said senior Sara D’Aloia.


7.8 million people use tanning beds in the United States, 52 percent started before the age of 21 and 32.7 percent before 18 (American Association of Dermatology).  The National statistics of indoor tanning says that 15.2 percent of white high school girls use tanning beds regularly.


Even using a tanning bed once can increase the risk of skin cancer by 20 percent.  A tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays.


“I believe tanning boosts confidence and is definitely worth the risks,” said senior Carissa Fuller.


Spray tanning is looked at as a safer alternative but is actually dangerous as well. Inhaling while spray tanning is hazardous and can also lead to allergic reactions. The base ingredient in sunless tan products is dihydroxyacetone which can cause dna damage and may even cause cancer.


There needs to be more education regarding the risks.  Too many high school aged girls continue to use tanning salons. Changes may be coming regarding the use of indoor tanning by minors.  Many states already have laws preventing any minors even with parental consent from using them and others are considering such laws. In many states there must be written permission from a guardian to allow the minor to use the tanning bed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and anyone seeking more information can look here.  as well as the American Cancer Society’s web page