Tanning- How bad is it Really?

It's that time of the year everyone! The leaves are changing and the temperature is dropping. And with that comes college girls itching to keep that summer tan. Here in State College you see girls and you ask yourself "how are they still so tan?" The answer is simple. Tanning salons. The tanning salons here get very busy during these winter months because the girls just can't stand being pale. Knowing this I wonder how bad is tanning for all these girls going multiple times a week.
Natural tanning (outside laying on the beach) even has its dangers. The UV lights that are exposed to your skin damage the cells. But fake tanning is even worse. Doctor Oz states that in the tanning beds the UV lights go over the so-called "safe" amount. and with teens tanning daily, they are at higher risk of skin cancer than adults because their bodies are still growing and changing. The cells in a teen's body are changing so fast that they are "more prone to UV radiation". 
Melanoma is becoming more and more common among young adults because of tanning. According to The Melanoma Foundation tanning beds give off "15 times more UV radiation than the sun" so your skin is put into much more danger, which makes melanoma more common. The UVA rays that are giving off from tanning reach your DNA cells and that is where melanoma is formed. Tanning booths also expose you to UVB rays, which can cause melanoma and other types of cancer. 
Tanning indoors can also cause wrinkles on your skin and cataracts in your eyes because of the strong radiation that is being given off. 

How to avoid these things you ask? Don't tan. Being tan for the winter months is not worth getting cancer over. There are so many alternatives now in stores that can substitute for the tanning beds. For example, spray tans, or lotions that give you that "natural glow" from the drug store.  





I completely agree with and understand your stance on tanning but the truth is even though I have read all of the facts a million times and have been lectured by so many people I myself still love to tan. The fact that I know all of the negative effects and I still do it once or twice a week as do many girls I know makes be think that there should be something else being done to get through to more people. Since tanning is a relatively new thing I think girls hear about how it can cause cancer but most girls don't know anyone who has gotten skin cancer from it. I also think it is important to teach girls how to tan more safely if they refuse to stop. Such as using eye protectors at all times, using a lotion to keep skin as moisturized as possible while in the bed, as well as really limiting the frequency at which they tan as well as the length of time they are in the beds.

Hi Emily,

I use to literally be addicted to tanning! I went every single day in high school, especially when a school dance was coming up (had to look fabulous and tan in my dress). After not going for a year in college I couldn't take it anymore and decided I would start back up freshman year. After about a month of going I actually started to break out in a rash on my chest. The tanning bed actually gave me a rash that took a half year to disappear called folliculitis. People don't just need to be worried about tanning beds giving you cancer, but it can give rashes as well!

Coming from someone who is naturally tan and seems to have color year round, I never understood why girls would risk all the negative health effects and use the tanning beds. When first reading this, I thought the only reason someone could justify tanning would be to help with their Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), however that is not the case. According to skincancer.org light thereapy used to treat SAD is different than tanning. "Light therapy, an effective treatment for SAD, acts through the eyes and relies on visible light, whereas the dangerous UV radiation emitted by tanning beds is invisible light." So while it does not help with SAD, many girls tan to feel better about themselves. I believe being happy in your own skin is important but risking your health to do so is no okay. Skincancer.org has a lot more great information that can be found here, http://www.skincancer.org/media-and-press/press-release-2013/sad.

People really do not realize how bad tanning can be for you. It could lead to skin cancer as well as other health issues. People should just realize you do not need a perfect tan year around!

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