UV Radiation from Tanning Beds is Directly Linked to Skin Cancer
New York, NY (May 3, 2012) – As teens around the nation prep for their most glamorous night of high school, The Skin Cancer Foundation encourages young women who are prom planning to steer clear of tanning salons and embrace their natural skin tones, as ultraviolet (UV radiation) from tanning beds can lead to skin cancer. But for girls who can’t resist the tanned look, pampering skin with bronzers and sunless tanners is always an option.
“While tanning may seem like an easy way to achieve glowing skin before prom, just one trip to the tanning salon can mean the difference between healthy skin and premature skin aging that can lead to skin cancer later on,” said Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, Senior Vice President of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “Avoiding indoor tanning during the teen years is especially critical when you consider that over the past 40 years, rates of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, grew by 800 percent among young women.”
The risks of indoor tanning are real—those who make just four visits to a tanning salon per year can increase their risk for melanoma by 11 percent, and their risk for the two most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, by 15 percent. Yet as a recent report released by leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce revealed, salon owners and workers continue to put young women’s lives in jeopardy by touting the false benefits of tanning to teens and denying the known risks of indoor tanning.
Additionally, researchers now believe that the 8-fold increase in melanoma incidence among young women over the past 40 years is linked to the prevalent use of tanning beds, and that incidence will continue to rise in this high-risk population.
Prom goers are advised to pamper their skin before the big night to pull off a natural, dewy complexion– the hallmark of genuine beauty. For teens that aren’t ready to “go with your own glow,” the Foundation suggests using sunless tanning products for a bronzed look. Here’s how:
Sunless tanners effectively produce an evenly tanned look without causing skin damage. They are available in several formulations, from lotions that darken skin gradually to variations that cater to people with naturally lighter or darker skin tones. These products contain added fragrances for improved smell as well as special ingredients for minimal streaking and uneven tanning.
Before applying self tanner, exfoliate skin with a scrub or loofah and moisturize skin to create a base that helps the tanner absorb evenly into the skin. Wait at least 12 hours after shaving to apply self tanner. Since these products can cling excessively to dry skin and result in an uneven skin tone, avoid applying too much to particularly dry areas, such as the knees and elbows.
Most importantly, even if a sunless tanning product contains an SPF, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day, and reapplying every two hours, or immediately after swimming of sweating. For extended outdoor activity, use a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. In addition to regular sunscreen use, a sun protection regimen should include seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Editor’s Note: The Skin Cancer Foundation has many experts available to comment on indoor tanning issues. Additionally, the Foundation has access to individuals willing to share their personal experiences with indoor tanning and skin cancer.
For more information, please contact:
Carla Barry-Austin (212-725-5641; email@example.com)
Becky Wiley (646-583-7988; firstname.lastname@example.org)
About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. For more information, visit www.SkinCancer.org.