‘If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay on a tanning bed or in the sun, here ya go,’ wrote US-based Tawny Willoughby, now 27, alongside her photo. Willoughby was only 21 when she was first diagnosed with skin cancer. A nurse and no family history of skin cancer, she never dreamed she would be fighting for her life from tanning.
Studies have proven that we all need sunshine to get Vitamin D and it also improves mood. What we don’t realize, is the harmful damages too much sun (natural and artificial) can do to our bodies.
According to The Doctors, a new study shows some have a gene (PCHDT2) that is predisposed to a tanning addiction. Obsessive tanners carry this gene. Some people with this gene, freak out when there is no sunshine and run to the tanning beds. It increases their endorphins. Melanoma is on the rise and more cancer reports are from tanning than from smoking.
Drew Ordon, Dermatologist says never go outside to sunbathe without a hat, sunglasses, and at least a spv30 sunscreen. Apply at least a shotglass size of the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go out in the sun and reapply every 2 hours. Avoid sunbathing from the hours of 10 am-2 pm when the sun is the hottest to avoid sunburn. You can damage not only your skin, but your retinas.
According to The Academy of Dermatology, these are the risks of indoor tanning:
• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel has declared ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, as known carcinogens.
• Indoor tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources, including beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc., emits UVA and UVB radiation. The amount of the radiation produced during indoor tanning is similar to the sun and in some cases, might be stronger.
• Studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use.
• Studies have demonstrated that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning damages the DNA in the skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma.
• In addition to the above mentioned risks, frequent, intentional exposure to UV light may lead to an addiction to tanning.
According to a recent Mayo Clinic study, the incidence of melanoma has increased eightfold among women ages 18 to 39 since 1970. “Melanoma is a new epidemic in young women,” says Jerry Brewer, M.D., a Mayo Clinic dermatologic surgeon and author of the study, who admits even he was shocked by these findings. “Other studies have shown an increase, but this study found melanoma occurring in women 705 percent more often. It’s astounding.” If a melanoma is just one millimeter deep (that’s about three grains of salt) or deeper, there’s already roughly a 10 percent chance it will spread to the lymph nodes and then to other organs, says Brewer. If that happens, there’s about an 85 percent chance it will kill you.
The Doctors elaborated on how we all think a tan is prettier and makes us look thinner and healthier in the summer. Their advice is to not avoid the sun but for a tan, use sunless tanners. Never fall for the myth, “I am going to the tanning bed just get a base tan before I vacation.” You may end up with a skin cancer instead. Ever noticed how tanning bed salons only warn you of the need to wear eyewear? What is the tanner doing to your skin and organs?
Photo screenshot courtesy of Facebook.