Save your skin & stay away from tanning beds

A tan caused naturally by the sun or in a tanning bed is dangerous to your skin. Whether it was intentional or not, it is important to avoid the sun’s exposure to the point of tanning. Tans are caused by harmful ultraviolet radiation. Those that seek indoor tanning to keep their summer glow are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. In addition to the dangerous development of skin cancer, cumulative damage caused by UV radiation can lead to premature skin aging such as wrinkles, sagging skin, brown spots and more.

What is ultraviolet radiation? It is the part of the light spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. It has different wavelengths some shorter than others, but all UV rays are shorter than visible light, which makes it elusively invisible to the naked eye. These wavelengths are classified as UVA. UVB, and UVC. Both UVA and UVB penetrate the atmosphere and increase the chances of premature aging if overexposed to skin. Most of UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer and doesn’t reach the skin’s surface. UV radiation classified by the US Department of Health and the World Health Organization as a “proven human carcinogen” which produces genetic mutation in the skin’s cellular DNA. These mutations can lead to skin cancer.

UVA is the dominant tanning ray found both outside and in tanning beds. It’s what you’re paying for, if you are, to get a tan. UVA accounts for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface and penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB. People who use tanning beds are exposing themselves to high-pressure sunlamps which emit doses of UVA 12 times stronger than the sun. It’s like getting a highly concentrated dosage of the bad rays all at once. Indoor tanners are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma; two of the most common skin cancers.

Before you step into a tanning bed, whether it’s for the first time, or your regular visit, remember, first exposure to tanning beds in youth increases melanoma risk by 75 percent. Beauty doesn’t have to be that painful or dangerous. Dr. Rokhsar is a fellowship-trained dermatologist and Mohs micrographic skin cancer surgeon, who can spot the signs of early cancer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *