Even after hearing that women who have ever been indoor tanning are six times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma in their 20s than those who have never done so, it’s hard to believe skin cancer can happen at such a young age. Most young indoor tanners probably don’t believe it can happen to them.
The medical community and organizations like The Skin Cancer Foundation have been warning people for years to stop tanning. Hundreds of former tanners who became skin cancer patients have shared their stories online and cautioned people not to make the same mistakes. So why do some people continue to tan? New research confirms that for some, quitting tanning is not that simple.
Ideally, everyone’s sun protection education would begin at an early age. Learning to seek the shade, apply sunscreen and never tan are lessons that help keep you safe both during childhood and later in life. Some of us, however, don’t commit to a sun protection regimen until a little later in life.
I occasionally use a tanning bed before a trip or a big event, just to give me a little color. Isn’t that better than lying out in the sun for hours? And doesn’t it give my vitamin D a boost, too?
Confession time: I am that rare person who really, truly loved my time in high school. Sure, there were orthodontic struggles and questionable fashion decisions, but as a whole, there’s very little I would have done differently.
At The Skin Cancer Foundation, we’ve been fighting for years to raise awareness (and motivate action) about the strong link between indoor tanning and the rise of dangerous melanoma in young women. That’s why we were thrilled to announce Allure magazine’s report about the wide availability of indoor tanning on college campuses as our 2016 Media Award winner at our Champions for Change Gala in October.