• Tanning leads to favored tone, unfavored effects

    by  • October 14, 2010 • Sex & Health, Special Interest • 8 Comments

    News Photo/Aida Velazquez-Santiago

    By Aida Velazquez- Santiago, News Coorespondent

    Now that the weather has gotten colder, people are seeking alternative methods for maintaining their tans from summer; and with declining temperatures, the way to do this is by tanning indoors. However, there are still a few things that should be noted before getting into a tanning bed.

    According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, tanning beds just are as certain to cause cancer as smoking. When going tanning, not only do the obvious chances of skin cancer escalate, but so does the cost. Fifteen minutes in a level-one tanning bed at Campus Tan costs $12. On average a person needs to tan three or four times in one week to build up a tan. This means spending at least $36 total just to build up a tan, let alone manage one.

    The new 10 percent tax on indoor tanning is expected to raise $2.7 billion in the next ten years. Considering to the cost and risks, would getting into a tanning bed still be the first choice of those interested in maintaining a specific skin tone?

    - Tanning beds emit approximately three times the amount of cancer-causing UVA radiation given off by the sun. A popular activity among college students, tanning beds will leave your skin looking as if you have just returned from a luxury beach vacation. A downside, however, is the high risk of skin cancer.

    - Tanning beds have both short-term and long-term risks, said Dr. Emmy Graber, a dermatologist specializing in acne and cosmetic dermatology. The short-term risks will last only a couple of weeks and can include peeling and burning of the skin. The long-term effects on the skin, however, last a lifetime. Deep wrinkles, a leathered appearance, discoloration, deadly melanoma and brown spots are just some of the enduring risks that come with tanning.

    - “There is no way to reverse the probability of developing skin cancer,” Graber said. “Using a tanning bed is an addictive behavior because of the way it makes people feel. Replacing it with exercise or a spray tan would be much better.” Maintaining a summer glow does not have to be life-threatening if it is replaced with a healthier alternative.

    - American Skin Care esthetician Glenda Kimberly said that tanning beds are not okay even when they are used sporadically, since the chances of getting skin cancer still increase, no matter the dosage.

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