The dangers of tanning

With summer right around the corner, prepare yourself for the dangers of tanning before you have fun in the sun

Theresa De Benedetti, Junior Writer

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With summer coming up, everyone is getting ready for prom, graduations, and vacations- but there is one step teens should leave out while preparing. Having a tan complexion has always been a look desired by teens, but just how dangerous is it to achieve?

 

Tanning Beds

 

A popular method of achieving a tan without sitting outside for hours is the use of a tanning bed. Tanning Salons can been found in just about every town in America, and although the required age to use one is 18, you can be 16 with a parents consent. The convenience and simplicity of this tanning option makes it very appealing to young people. Overtime, the UV radiation from tanning beds can cause damage to skin cells. Risks of stepping into a tanning bed include wrinkles, age spots, eye damage from radiation, and possibly skin cancer. The FDA classifies tanning beds as moderate to high risk device, and countries such as Brazil and Australia have already banned indoor tanning altogether. According to the Skin Cancer foundation, more people get skin cancer from tanning than people get lung cancer from smoking. With the risk of developing melanoma increasing by 75% if you use tanning beds before the age of 35, ask yourself, is it really worth the risk?

 

Overexposure to Sunlight

 

The cheapest and most obvious way to achieve a tan is sunbathing. Although it may seem harmless, this method can be even more dangerous than indoor tanning. What many teens don’t realize is that skin damage from the sun is cumulative, meaning it adds up overtime. Although a sunburn may fade and seem to be forgotten, your skin never forgets. The damage your skin sustains will stay with you for the rest of your life. According to the skin cancer foundation, 90% of skin aging and damage is caused by the sun. Although this information is scary, there are less risky ways to go in the sun and achieve a healthy glow. Those who use an SPF of 15 or higher show 24%  less skin damage than those who don’t use sunscreen.

 

That was a lot of information, so here are some basic guidelines to follow when trying to achieve a glowing complexion:

 

-Stay away from tanning beds, your body will thank you later

 

-Always use sunscreen, even on days when you don’t think you need it. During the summer or on the beach sunscreen should always be your first priority, but it’s also important to apply it on an everyday basis. Many moisturizers and lotions have SPF in them so it’s easier than you think.

 

-Never stay out in the sun for more than 20 minutes without sunscreen, the sun is a lot more powerful than you think, so better to lather up than get burned!

-Treat sunburns right away, and get out of the sun! If you do end up burned the most important tip is to get out of the sun right away to take care of it. Apply aloe vera to soothe the burns and help repair the skin, then avoid the sun for a couple days and wear protective clothing that covers the burns.

 

-Fake it till you make it! Fake tans or at home tanning kits are a lot safer than the other methods and look just as good as the real thing.

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