Risks of Skin Cancer

With the fall season in full swing, the days are getting shorter and the amount of direct sunlight is also diminishing. Individuals who  live for hot days and worship the sun to get a deep, dark tan begin seeking other ways to preserve their look.

Addicted to having a tan

Gerlach / Pixabay

In the past, many people turned to tanning beds to get their bronze fix. However, because of studies finding that the risk of melanoma is increases by almost 60% if the first exposure to artificial UV rays occurs before the age of 35 years, the use is on the decline.

In fact, the Center for Disease control has been following this issue for some time now and the following statistics and statement sums up the danger of this type of UV exposure:

The total percentage of U.S. adults using indoor tanning beds decreased from 5.5% in 2010 to 4.2% in 2013. More than 1.6 million fewer women and 0.4 million fewer men are using indoor tanning.

However, 7.8 million women and 1.9 million men still engage in the activity.

“10 million adults are trading a tan for an increased risk of skin cancer every year,” said Gery Guy Jr., an author of the research letter. “The tan is temporary, but the risk is permanent.”

See the original post here:  Study: Fewer U.S. adults use indoor tanning beds

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. as well as one of the most preventable. There is a direct proven correlation between UV rays and skin cancer, and yet, similar to cigarette smoking, people still choose to partake.

The shear fact that so many still feel the need to put themselves in harm’s way just to have that golden glow is a bit troubling. Because of this, there are a number of people in the medical field that feel it is an addiction, similar to other unhealthy lifestyle choices.

In fact, people who tan frequently even exhibit signs of both physical and psychological dependence. UV light has been shown to elevate the level of endorphins, which are chemicals released by the pituitary gland that relieve pain and and induce feelings of pleasure.

The problem is that these endorphins can potentially lead to dependency. The girl in this video discusses her addiction to tanning:

One of the best alternatives for safe tanning is spray tanning, also known as a sunless tan. This type of tanning is done with an airbrush that is sprays a mist evenly all over the body.

The spray contains an ingredient called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that interacts with your own skin’s chemistry to provide the coveted bronze look but is proven safe. Spray tanning boutiques are on the rise, but the problem is they don’t provide the same warm, fuzzy feeling as the real deal.

Getting Help With Your Addiction

So how do you help someone with this type of addiction? If possible, prevention with education is the best way, according to SkinCancer.org.

For those already addicted, it usually takes some sort of intervention. Once the endorphins go away, there are even signs of depression in some cases, meaning treatments like antidepressants could be effective in reducing the desire.

In the following post, an oncology doctor discusses a study concerning those addicted to having a tan:

Damage from UV rays

Hans / Pixabay

“We tested interventions that were about risk communication, but for this population with tanning dependence, the thing that stands out to us was not only the association between attitudes and beliefs, but their depressive symptoms,” said Darren Mays, Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology at Georgetown University School of Medicine and author on the study, which he called “troubling.”

Find the full post here:  1 in 5 white women have a tanning salon addiction

The fact that the damage may not reveal itself until 10 to 20 years later makes it difficult to convince younger people that it could be a problem down the road. It’s even tougher in areas of Southern California where hanging out at the beach is part of culture.