Tanning beds expose skin to ultraviolet radiation. UV-ray exposure increases the risk of skin cancer. A new study points out the health hazard as well as costly expense when those under 18 begin tanning indoors.
Prevention is Progress
Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Tanning indoors increases your risk of developing cancer, especially if you’re under the age of 35. The Food and Drug Administration proposed a national ban last year on indoor tanning for those younger than 18 years old.
Currently, only about a fourth of our states have laws prohibiting youngsters from tanning indoors. The American Academy of Dermatology, who recently published a study on this subject, also supports an under-18 nationwide age restriction.
Indoor Tanning Study
The findings, published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, describe what researchers from the CDC collected and analyzed. They figured that if indoor tanning was banned for minors, it would prevent over 60,000 melanoma cases for those children over their lifetime.
The ban could also prevent almost 7,000 deaths from melanoma.
If interest groups, politicians, and the FDA move forward on the age restriction, the savings on skin cancer treatment costs can be over $300 million.
- The American Cancer Society explains, “Skin cancer touches two million Americans every year—more than breast, lung, colon, prostate, ovarian, uterine, and pancreatic cancers combined.”
“Indoor tanning elevates risks for deadly melanoma, regardless of the type of tanning device used.”
Getting Your Teen To Listen
If you find a way to get your teen to heed the dangers, please let us know how you did it. Studies have been conducted showing high school students various videos explaining the grave effects of UV ray exposure. Most adolescents can’t see the big picture. They don’t understand that dangerous actions they take now will have poor consequences in the future.
That’s why we, as adults, need to protect our youngsters. Absolutely explain the health risks of tanning beds and outdoor sun exposure. But Dr. April Armstrong at the CU Cancer Center suggests using a different tactic. She says to talk to your teens about wrinkles and premature aging.
Adolescents are vain and extremely image-conscious. If we describe that the rays can give us blotchy, flakey skin, they might care more. Skin cancer sounds bad, but they assume it’s treatable. How about explaining that eye cancer can develop from exposure to UV rays?
And, of course, leading by example can help. If we stay out of tanning beds, that will speak volumes. Also, tanning doesn’t have to be associated with beauty. There are many glamorous celebrities who take care of their skin, avoid sun exposure, and look radiant.