Have you ever known someone with skin cancer? Well I have, and have seen first-hand just how horrible it can be to try and live through. Any kind of cancer is a big deal and a life changing disease for anyone who gets it, as well as anyone who is close to that person. Unfortunately, not all people take skin cancer specifically, as serious. There are so many deathly dangers to discuss that come from tanning booths. What people need to understand is that there are other options to getting tan glowing skin instead of putting unnecessary ultra violet rays into their bodies. The best fix for lowering the skin cancer victim numbers is to begin shutting tanning salons down for good. Most tanning bed users aren’t even aware of the shocking statistics that those who tan are accounting for. Also, they clearly don’t know what the future may hold for them down the road it they continue exposing themselves. I want people to become aware of the harms they are causing themselves. I will talk about doctors’ thoughts and opinions on them, and will hopefully be able to educate anyone who is debating tanning enough, so that they don’t put themselves at risk. First, let’s look at some statistics pertaining to tanning bed users.
Behind every decision people make there is some type of rhyme or reason for their actions. One of the main reasons people decide to go to tanning booths is because it is what they think looks most socially acceptable. Media plays an enormous role on society, and unfortunately if you were to look at commercials, magazine advertisements, and many high society people, you see toned and tanned bodies. When citizens see these people portrayed like such, they feel as if they must mimic these perfect looking bodies. While a tanned body is attractive to some people, the problem is that there are also many tanning bed dangers, some that people know of and some that are hidden. People also do it because they want to stay tan all year, and in winter there is not as much sun outside, so they resort to indoor tanning. Although there can be plenty of facts thrown out to the public of why not to use tanning beds, there is one big component that doesn’t help doctors and health professional’s cause. Unfortunately this is not a small industry, and because money is mainly all people focus on it makes it tough to persuade everyone. The total indoor tanning consumer base is 28 million, and the total economic impact of indoor tanning facilities is $5 billion (American Tanning Institute). Those numbers look great at a business stand point and because it is such a prospering business the government really doesn’t want to shut them down. These are just some excuses people who tan are using. Another disturbing reason people subject themselves to hurtful ultra violet rays is because they believe if they tan before they go out in the sun they will not get burned as easily. There is no evidence that this ethic is effective. If you go out on vacation and decide to sun bath, you should wear sunblock instead of trying to get a base on your skin before going into the strongest rays.
Now, people may try to give themselves excuses as to why tanning in tanning beds is a good idea, they just need to make sure they know all the facts. More than 70% of the on average 1 million people a day using tanning beds, are Caucasian females aged 16 to 49 years( Health Central). After looking at this set of statistics, it looks like this may mean that adults and parents are letting their teenage girls go to tanning salons…but if they knew the serious dangers maybe they would be wearier of letting them go. The younger you are when you start indoor tanning, the greater your risk of melanoma. Also, your risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent if you’re exposed to tanning beds before the age of 35(Dr Hema Sundaram). Knowing this, it proves that young adults are at huge risks in this area, and should be monitored by parents or adult figures in order to prevent these numbers from going up. Another shocking fact is that using a tanning bed more than 10 times a year made people seven times more likely to develop malignant melanoma than those who did not use tanning beds as often. Some people think that if they only go once and a while they will not be hurt by the effects of those who go very often, when in reality the risk of melanoma was increased by 300% for those using tanning beds occasionally and by 800% for those using tanning beds more than 10 times a year(Health Central). So although percentage wise those who go more are more likely to become ill, but on the other hand those who only go occasionally still run an extremely higher risk just by going a few times.
There are other options to get a tan glow, besides putting unnecessary ultra violet rays into your body. Because many people feel more attractive when tan, they should use other options available to them instead of tanning booths. There is always the option of spray tan. Spray tan is effective, gets the same look as tanning beds, and is 100% safer. The main reason it is wise to use spray instead of UV rays is because you run less risk of many skin cancers. Also, you will preserve your skin down the road. Another option is tanning pills. These pills speed up the tanning process, and have no cancerous side effects.
After hearing these facts I hope you start recognizing the great dangers of tanning booths. You should all see the seriously damaging effects of tanning in booths, and hopefully become more aware and make the safe and smart choices when it comes to ways of giving yourself fake tans. In the future I hope to put some kind of ban on tanning salons in general, or at least make an age limit.
American Tanning Institute. “American Tanning Institute – New Salon Resource Center.” American Tanning Institute – Home. American Tatooing Institute, 2009. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.tanningprogram.com/new_salon_resource_center>.
“Indoor Tanning | http://www.aad.org.” Home Page | http://www.aad.org. US Department of Health and Services, 9 Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/indoor-tanning>.
Sundaram, Dr. Hema. “The Dangers of Tanning Beds: Five Fast Facts – Skin Care.” HealthCentral.com – Trusted, Reliable and Up To Date Health Information. Health Central. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.healthcentral.com/skin-care/c/75934/24339/beds-fast-facts>.