By  //  February 24, 2013

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UV Exposure Leads To Long-Term Health Woes

(VIDEO: howbeauty)

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Despite all that we have learned about UV exposure in the media, a study from the American Academy of Dermatology reveals that the vast majority of Americans think they look better tanned.

In addition, a recent Glamour.com poll discovered that “out of a survey of 7,100 women and men nationwide, 80 percent said they have concerns about skin cancer, yet 72 percent admitted they still find tanned people more attractive and 66 percent said they think people with a tan look healthier.”

Research on the epidemiology of skin cancer reveals that just 40 uses of tanning beds elevates the risk of melanoma about 55 percent. (Shutterstock image)

In order to keep up with this idea year-round, it appears that the usage of indoor tanning beds continues to be all the rage. In 2010, the Center for Disease Control reported that one-third of young white women still used indoor tanning beds.

In an article titled Ten Reasons To Swear Off Tanning, Allan Geller of the Harvard School of Public Health, who is a leading researcher on the epidemiology of skin cancer, explains that just 40 uses of tanning beds elevates the risk of melanoma about 55 percent.

In other words that means there is 1 1/2 percent extra risk for melanoma every time you use a tanning bed. If that isn’t enough to turn you pale, a study published in The Medical Journal BMJ estimated that in the United States indoor tanning leads to more than 170,000 cases a year of two increasingly common non-melanoma types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Unfortunately, statistics are obviously showing that many of us are tossing aside the hard evidence of developing skin cancer one day for the immediate gratification of getting tan today.

Resrach shows there is 1 1/2 percent extra risk for melanoma every time you use a tanning bed. (Image courtesy of Salseek.com)

So one must ask, is indoor tanning an addiction similar to cigarette smoking or are tanners dying to be part of the lofty beauty stereotype that to be attractive one must be tan?

It can be argued that the concept isn’t much different than an anorexic wanting to resemble a photo-shopped model on the cover of a magazine.

Interestingly, a recent journal publication by Dr. Mary Brady of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute reveals that there may be a potential explanation for the growth of tanning beds despite all the obvious warnings and health risks. It turns out that UV radiation may have addictive positive effects on mood status related to relaxation and endorphin release.

Apparently, UVB rays can lead to enhanced mental health and lessening symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual syndrome, and depression. Ironically, you get a happy boost of well-being while essentially cooking under the tanning bed lights.

Crow’s feet as shown in this image, may be a by-product of using tanning beds. (Image courtesy of Belezmedicaspa.com)
Sunspots like those in this image, are often a by-product of using tanning beds. (Image courtesy of skinlaser.com)

While the appeal of tanning beds may be alluring with claims of boosting your vitamin D levels and providing you with that healthy overall tanned appearance, in the end it is hard to avoid the very basic and ultimate ugly consequences brought on with the use of tanning beds such as sunspots, crow’s feet, wrinkles, and overall skin damage.

Perhaps this is in part why the skincare industry is making millions by always releasing a new miracle cream or laser treatment that promises to erase the results of sun damaged skin. It seems that we as a society need to figure out which end of the spectrum we want to be on —– healthy or with skin complications.

Until then it just seems like a viscous cycle of tan and correct and then tan again.

So how do we solve this beauty dilemma?

Avoid tanning beds, supplement with vitamin D, get exercise for the overall endorphin release and visit a salon that offers The Versa Spa.

It is a sunless spay tanning machine that will leave you beautifully bronzed and most importantly not orange. This machine is a genius invention that makes all the other spray tans look like clown make-up.

All you have to do is arrive showered, shaven, free of make-up and moisturizer, step into the machine while following a few simple instructions. Wear loose clothing home, wait a few hours for your tan to develop and be prepared to look naturally sun kissed without any worries of health, streaking color marks, or tiger stripes.

In the Brevard area there are several places that you can find The Versa Spa like Easy Tan, Tan-In, the Sunburst Tanning Company and many more.

Whether using tanning beds is part of an addiction or social pressure to fit in to society norms, indoor tanning seems to be leading many down one ugly road called irony.

If you are of the belief a tan is prettier and frequently use tanning beds, please investigate your alternative options before it’s too late.