The Dangers of Tanning

Autumn Dobrowski, Editor

As prom season is upon us, many seniors are deciding on the finishing touches of their rides, pictures, and most importantly their appearance. For many, one aspect of appearance is tanning. It seems like many students have forgotten the dangerous effects that tanning beds can have on health. Not only can tanning via UV radiation drastically increase your risk of skin cancer, it can also cause premature wrinkling.


According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, any person who has ever gone tanning in their teens is six times more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer in their early twenties. People who use tanning beds before the age of 35 increase their chance of developing melanoma, a type of skin cancer, by a staggering 75 percent.


Tanning through UV radiation, including both tanning beds and laying out in the sun, is also very likely to age your skin faster. This can mean anything from wrinkles, to loose skin, to age spots. If looking like a grandmother by the time you’re thirty-five is your goal, then by all means go hit the tanning beds.


Some safer alternatives to tanning are getting a professional spray tan or using an at home self tanner. Self tanner can come in lotion, wipe, or spray form and can be found at any local beauty store. However, this doesn’t mean you can skip out on protecting yourself from the sun. According to Dr. Arielle Kauvar, MD, a board certified dermatologist, “sunscreen and protective clothing should always be used in conjunction with sunless tanners.”

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