Ask most young women if appearing tanned is important to looking and feeling their best, and the answer will often be yes. Simply put, many still perceive a tanned face as a sign of health and attractiveness. It’s a long-standing, common perception that still motivates millions to hit the beach and/or tanning salon, searching for that sun-kissed look. That means we need to do all we can to increase understanding of tanning safety.
Exposure to sunlight and indoor tanning means exposure to damaging UV rays, proven to be the leading cause of skin cancer. The bottom line is, young ladies still pursuing a tan via UV light are at significantly higher risk of getting skin cancer later in life.
Tanning Safety Facts & Figures
As the popularity of the “tanned look” continues, so does the rise in skin cancer cases among young women. Statistics show that more people develop melanoma from tanning than those who develop lung cancer from smoking. And current data from the Skin Cancer Foundation reveals that more than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the USA are related to indoor tanning.
In fact, anyone under the age of 35 using tanning beds increases their risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent. This has prompted several states to restrict people under age 18 from patronizing businesses and using devices related to indoor UV tanning.
Evidently, one effective way for you to prevent skin cancer is by avoiding tanning beds. Usage of them is in fact the leading cause of melanoma in the USA. And because younger women tend to be out in the sun more, here are other tips to keep the UV rays at bay:
- Apply and regularly reapply (every 80-90 minutes) sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher whenever out in sun.
- Start carrying other tanning safety essentials in a bag you leave in your car, or can carry in a shoulder bags items – such as a wide-brim hat, lightweight and long-sleeved shirt and pants, sunglasses, and an umbrella.
- Be sure to schedule a full-body skin exam at the dermatologist’s office at least once a year, more if you and/or your family has a history of skin cancer.
ABCDEs of Melanoma
In between dermatologist skin screenings, it’s important to track the status of any moles and skin spots you may have, especially new ones. You can do that with regular self-exams (or you and your significant other can examine one another), using the simple ABCDE system to look for any of the following characteristics:
- Asymmetrical moles or those with irregular shapes
- Blurry border or jagged edges
- Color not even
- Diameter larger than a pencil eraser
- Evolving or changing moles after weeks, months, or years
If the ABCDEs don’t apply to your moles, good news! You may still want to explore paying to have a mole removed, but it likely isn’t a health concern. However should any of the above characteristics be found, it’s time to play it safe and find a great dermatologist in Avon Park, Jensen Beach, Lighthouse Point, or any other Florida city you happen to call home.
Getting the tanned look – safely
While being tanned may be an undying – or just a slowly dying — beauty trend that you choose to follow…that doesn’t mean you have to rely on UV rays to do so. The selection of safe, indoor tanning creams and sprays just keeps getting bigger and better. So, if you want that tan…consider getting it from a can (or jar, bottle…you get the point)!
Call Water’s Edge Dermatology at (877) 900-3223 today, or request an appointment online.