Is your teen tanning?

Earlier this week, cancer experts concluded tanning beds are as deadly as arsenic or mustard gas, and said people who begin using the ultraviolet radiation beds before age 30 up their skin cancer risk by 75 percent. After analyzing about 20 studies, scientists moved tanning beds and other forms of ultraviolet radiation from their list of probable carcinogens to the top risk category of “definite causes of cancer.”

When I was a teenager, several of my friends regularly used tanning beds to jump-start or extend tans they achieved from lying out in the summer sun. My skin is so fair that I simply burn and peel without zinc oxide or a minimum of SPF 50.  Any color I may have is simply the explosion of freckles brought out by the sun. Like an impressionist painting, I may appear a little darker from a distance, but up close, my “tan” is really just a bunch of dots. Even so, I remember being tempted to try to get a deep tan like my friends.

I never did use a tanning bed back in the late 80s, and I also just assumed the number of tanning bed users had waned as the market of self-tan creams and bronzers grew. However, the scientists found that doctors are diagnosing more and more young people with skin cancer as the number of people under 30 using the beds has grown.   

“In Britain, melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, is now the leading cancer diagnosed in women in their 20s,” the article states. “Normally, skin cancer rates are highest in people over 75.”

My children suffer the same fair skin I do, so they have never known a life without copious amounts of sun block. They are not teens either, and have never really expressed an interest in getting a tan. I don’t know if their attitude toward tanning will change in a few years – even though their ability to do anything but burn won’t change.

Are your teens tanning? Have they ever asked to use a tanning bed? Did you – or do you now – use a tanning bed? Given that tanning and tanning beds have long been listed as “probable carcinogens”, do you think the latest designation as “definite cause of cancer” will change anyone’s mind about using a tanning bed or getting a natural savage tan?  Do you think the new label will affect your teen or young adult’s decision to use one?

61 comments Add your comment

Razz

July 31st, 2009
7:47 am

I will say that I used the tanning bed two summers in a row from 28-30 yrs old and soon after found a mole on my back…turned out to be melanoma. so I definately agree tanning beds do increase your risk drastically!

JJ

July 31st, 2009
8:11 am

OK, here I go. I hate tanning beds. I hate fake tans.

However, I do understand some people use the tanning beds for medical reasons, I can’t spell it, but my Mom was instructed to use a tanning bed for her psoriasis (I said I couldn’t spell it)……but she doesn’t, instead she goes out and gets 20 minutes of sun a day, usually before 11:00. It’s really helped her.

I’m not into all this fake crap. Fake nails, fake eyeliner tatoo’d on your eyelids; fake hair (I can spot a bad dye job a mile away, and people who are naturally brunette that dye their hair blonde, your roots are a dead give-away).

My friend owns her own shop, and she has a customer we call the “fake lady”. She has fake hair, fake eyelashes, fake boobs, fake nails, and a fake tan. I feel sorry for the man who has to pay for all that fakeness……talk about high maintenance!!!!!

Becky

July 31st, 2009
8:21 am

I’ve been a few times, but like Theresa (or Keith), I’m so fair that I usually burn..Casper has nothing on me..I’m with JJ on all of the fakeness..I don’t do fake hair, fake nails, fake boobs nothing..Takes to much time..

DB

July 31st, 2009
8:24 am

Never, never, never. Tanning beds are just so gross — luckily, my daughter gagged at the idea of taking off clothes and lying down on a bed where someone else’s sweaty bod had just been laying. She will go out on the deck and lay out if it’s a sunny day and if she has a good book or if she’s not busy. About the only thing she is high maintenance on is her nails — she loves a manicure!

On our cruise in June, I spent a great deal of time explaining to the girls that the Caribbean sun was hotter and more intense than they were used to, and it was intensified by being surrounded by water — USE SUNSCREEN FREQUENTLY!! One girl ignored me, declaring that she needed to “get a base, first”. She ended up with a massive sunburn that kept her from participating in a couple of activities. *Sigh* Some things, you just have to learn on your own.

Sara

July 31st, 2009
8:30 am

I tanned for 4 years, since I was 17. I always knew that tanning was not good for me. I too would be nothing but freckles, as I am half Irish and half Austrian, so I am very fair skinned to begin with. I have noticed something that looks like an ingrown hair, but somewhat like a mole and I asked nurses at work about it and they said it was nothing to worry about. I am now using a self tanner instead, being tan just makes me feel better about myself, and at least now I know I am doing it safely. I will never use a tanning bed again after it has been put into the same category as mustard gas and arsenic.

FCM

July 31st, 2009
8:33 am

We prefer our sun to hit us only after it has worked past the SPF 7500000 that we put on our skin.

TKH

July 31st, 2009
8:41 am

I used stand-up tanning booths (not beds, ewwwww)in high school and college before big events (my prom, sister’s wedding I was in, a cruise in the middle of December, my own wedding), but I’ve never been a regular visitor. I don’t think too much damage could’ve been done from my going 6 or 7 times before big events, but I’d rather not risk it anymore. I’m naturally pale and I’m ok with that. I probably won’t let my daughters tan when they’re teenagers but I’d be ok with them getting spray tans. That doesn’t hurt anything that I know of.

What I really, really hate are the teens who are obsessed with the tanning lotion. My younger sister’s high school basketball team was completely orange. It was awful. Their socks and uniforms would get orange around the edges from the cream rubbing off. Yuck! Better pale and pasty than that fake orange streaky look!!

@Sara what self-tanner do you use and how do you apply it without getting streaks? I’ve never found one that works well!

Name (required)

July 31st, 2009
8:57 am

I still don’t understand the ‘need’ to be tan. Growing up in Florida, I saw the little old ladies whose skin had turned to the consistency of an old leather jacket and wondered why anybody would want to look like that. I’ll get my cancer the old-fashioned way……earning it. Not inviting it in to my body.

JJ

July 31st, 2009
8:59 am

I use SFP 7500000, along with FCM. I have been so sunburned in the past, it kept me from enjoying the beach. We used to go do Daytona Beach and just lay out in the sun, using Hawaiian Tropic OIL……OMG……I used to burn, peel, and burn again……….

Now I’m very careful about applying sunscreen, and staying out of the sun. I get out early in the mornings and walk my dogs, and do the yardwork. Then I start indoor activities by 11:00……..don’t get me wrong I love to be outside, but it’s very hot, and I don’t do too good in hot, hot weather…….unless I’m prepared for it….like an outdoor concert, etc….

Michelle

July 31st, 2009
9:12 am

I used tanning beds off/on as a kid and early adult. I don’t think I EVER got to the maximum time b/c I am so fair! I was always envious of my friends or family that could get a nice brown tan! I don’t use them anymore though, and haven’t for quite a while. The new spray on Mystic Tan is pretty awesome! It looks just like a real tan (well, what one would look like if I actually turned brown instead of pink..LOL)! It doesn’t have that “fake” look and it lasts for a decent amount of time!

I like the Banana Boat self tanner. I think it works pretty well. Although, I am usually too lazy to take the time to put it on!

I try to make sure eveyone is covered in sun screen before going out, especially the 6 year old. My hubby gets so frustrated with me b/c he wants him to be tan. He is…but he uses a 30 block and still gets the tan! It’s much easier to put the lotions/blocks on now that they come in a spray on! MUCH less time consuming!

Would I let me teens hit the tanning bed, probably not, but until I’m faced with it, I can’t really say! I don’t think it’s worth melanoma though!

JJ

July 31st, 2009
9:21 am

I have ALWAYS used Coppertone Sport 30 SPF every time I go to the beach, and it works wonders. I usually drop down to 15 spf about the second or third day of a beach trip, because I do want a little color. I love Coppertone and use it all the time.

Well, when we were purchasing items to take to the beach two weeks ago, Kroger had Banana Boat SPF 30, buy one get one free. So I picked up two bottles. I applied it over and over and over, and ended up getting burned on my legs.

I tossed both bottles out, and went to the store and bought my Coppertone. I will never use any other brand!!!.

Keith

July 31st, 2009
9:26 am

Hey guys –

Theresa is still out today. I just forgot to put that at the top of the blog. She will be back on Monday though!

New Step Mom

July 31st, 2009
9:41 am

I have to say I have tanned in beds for two different periods in my life. 6 weeks before I went to Hawaii and 2 months before my wedding and honeymoon. I am very fair and wanted “base tan” so I would not burn in the more intense sun. I gotta say, I LOVE lying in those beds for 20 minutes where no one can get to me. However, I will likely never do it again because I know it is awful for me. But those 20 minutes every other day will be cherished and remembered as som of the most relaxing of my life….sigh….:o)!

Kristin

July 31st, 2009
9:56 am

Personally I can’t stand overly tanned people, orange people, etc. You look more beautiful when you just rock the skin your in and not try to obtain the Hollywood standard of beauty. Remember how pretty Lindsay Lohan was when she was a fair skinned freckled red head?

Katherine

July 31st, 2009
10:20 am

I used tanning beds for about a year and a half in college. All of the girls I knew used them. I loved being tan; it takes me forever to tan when I go outside, but I was able to get a nice tan in the tanning bed rather quickly. Then I noticed a new mole on my chest. I went to the dermatologist who said that it was fine, but then looked around and found one on my back (that I had no idea was there), removed it, and biopsied it (it turned out that it wasn’t cancerous, thank God). I haven’t been back to the tanning bed since.

I tried the Mystic Tan and liked it (except for the fact that it didn’t tan my hands and feet very well…they told me to apply this lotion between my fingers and toes (for the life of me, I can’t remember why…); I applied it sparingly, but it still looked like I was wearing white gloves and booties because my hands and feet didn’t tan very well), but didn’t like the price.

I’ve been using Jergens Natural Glow foam and I love it – it’s around $6 for the can and it doesn’t streak (unless I apply it really sloppily – I was in a hurry one morning when I first started using it and got a little streakiness). It looks very natural, too.

I will not let my future teenagers tan. I guess that I won’t be able to stop them after they turn 18 (I started going to the tanning bed when I was 19), but hopefully, by then, I will have successfully educated them about the dangers of tanning beds and they won’t want to go.

HB

July 31st, 2009
10:23 am

I have never and will never use a tanning bed. Yuck! I do use a very light self tanning lotion now and then. I’m not really aiming for tan so much as less pale. I usually pull it out around June when I’ve been in the sun enough from softball and other outdoor fun that even with using sunblock I’ve gotten a slight tan on my forearms, above my sock line, etc. I use a Neutrogena fair-skin tanning foam that evens it all out and looks good — not orangy. I don’t think I’d use it if I actually were very fair, though. I think it would come out too much darker and wouldn’t look natural.

DB

July 31st, 2009
10:46 am

I guess I’m weird — I LIKE being fair. I don’t like being tanned. I don’t see any point to spraying color on your skin — spray paint, in my mind, is for the wrought-iron furniture on the deck. It very, very seldom looks natural. I use SPF 50, and was very happy on the cruise with a spray-on SPF 70. When I lived in South Florida, I used to marvel at the little ol’ folks whose skin looked like very old, cured leather — YUCK! Maybe that’s where I learned my aversion, because when I was in high school, I was just as tan-crazy as almost any teenager — Hawaiian Tropic oil, yeah, baby!! But I got over it :-)

Anthony M.

July 31st, 2009
10:46 am

These studies are quite frightening, but I think it has tons of misleading information.

With tanning beds or any sort of indoor tanning, you simply have to make sure you don’t burn. Only when you burn is when the risk of cancer greatly increases. Yes, intense exposure to UV radiation does age your skin, may make you look orange, fake, and beds may not be the cleanest.

For people with more western European skin (Italians, Spanish, Greeks, etc.) they rarely burn because they already have a natural base tan. So, if they go into a tanning bed, the chances of burning are much less and you are, therefore, much less likely to get skin cancer.

It’s also about being smart! Obviously, someone who has very fair skin and a ton of moles should not be going into a tanning bed for the first time and do a 15 minute session in the strongest bed. Sometimes, people need to do their own research.

And, to the person who said that the chances of skin cancer and limited if you only go six or seven times before special events: this is false. The rates of skin cancer are higher among “vacation tanners/weekend tanners” than they are among people who go three times a week for like, years. This is because they don’t have a base tan and are more likely to burn.

Listen, obviously, wear SPF, don’t go tanning, yada yada yada. But, people need to keep a second eye open on these types of “controversial” issues. I mean, you can’t walk out of the house without getting some sort of disease these days.

Zachs Mom

July 31st, 2009
11:16 am

I go to the tanning bed once a week for 20 minutes and to the dermatoligst 2 timess a year. It is the best nap that you can take. You clean you bed before you get in so I don’t have issues with that. My son spends entire days out side with sun screen on and turns very brown. I used to hate to take him to the doctor in the summer with his little white butt hanging out because I would always get…”don’t you put sunscreen on that child?” Yes…bottles of it.

Will he ever go to a tanning bed? I don’t think so but he does make a point to try not to get a “farmer’s” tan

New Step Mom

July 31st, 2009
11:51 am

Zachs Mom, I am so glad someone else understands the “nap” aspect of tanning. My brother used to tan like your sun. I am really fair, but do look better with a bit of color and self tanners turn me orange. I enjoyed my honeymoon and trip to Hawaii with no sunburn, so the tanning bed and its risks were worth it. I have never smoked a cigarette, so this was my effort at living dangerously ;o)!

Why????

July 31st, 2009
11:59 am

Why must white people try to change their skin tone? I just never understood it.

Kyle

July 31st, 2009
12:08 pm

I’m not a scientist, (nor do I play one on TV) but I can assure you tanning is not “as deadly as arsenic or mustard gas”, as the study suggests. I can say that with complete confidence. I know people who tan regularly and they do not show symptoms of someone exposed to either substance. The claim is absurd. The message of this study is almost “hysterical” in its portrayal of the risk of using a tanning bed. The claim is sensational at best. It doesn’t sound like a statement from a reasoned scientist organization, it sounds like an organization with an agenda. It reminds me of the old “smoking pot will lead to certain death because you’ll run around tearing your close off and throw yourself off a building” lecture our parents used to give us a children.
One other note; earlier this week a Reuters article quoted comments from the scientists who conducted the testing. One of which states “The relationship between UV exposure and an increased risk of developing skin cancer is only likely to arise where over-exposure — i.e. burning — has taken place,” That’s right, only if over-exposure occurs. (I’ve not seen that in the headlines) Oh and if you’re feeling good about yourself because you don’t tan, just wait, another determination of the study said, “The experts put tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation in the same category as cigarettes, arsenic and the sun itself.”
On no………not as dangerous as……………Sunshine.

BRC

July 31st, 2009
12:10 pm

@Why????

Because people are never happy with what they have. Light skinned people try to tan. Darker complected people try to lighten their skin. Grass is always greener, blah, blah, blah.

JJ

July 31st, 2009
12:18 pm

Why do black women dye their hair blonde?

April

July 31st, 2009
12:23 pm

This is my favorite soapbox!!

Any time your skin changes color due to sun exposure it is because it is damaged. That tan may look lovely, but it is covering skin damage.

I will admit that for about three years in my late teens I chased a tan to no avail. I am pale to the point of transparent, and it never worked. Like DB, I have come to love my paleness and am teaching my children the same. I suffered several bad sunburns in my teen years and now worry about the increased risk of skin cancer. I have known two young women, between the ages of 30-35, who have died of melanoma.

If you really want to avoid sunburn, UV protective clothing is awesome. My entire family wears the shirts – in addition to sunscreen – when out for a long time or in really high UV conditions. There is also a web site that provides education and ratings on the best sunscreens. I can not swear to the accuracy of all the information, but I have found it helpful for learning more about the ingredients in sunscreens and how to choose the best one: http://www.ewg.org/whichsunscreensarebest/2009report

Cammi317

July 31st, 2009
12:39 pm

JJ, as a black woman, I would not die my hair blonde and there are very few black women who I thought pulled it off well. Of course, many of us chemically straighten our hair or add weave (I would never wear weave) so we can appear to have long flowing hair. I crack up when non-black women tell me they are going to sit out in the sun until they achieve my shade of skin color. (Of course, I love my caramel color so I can understand…LOL). However, as pointed out …the grass is always greener. With everyone trying to assimilate, you’d think we would all get along better.

LC

July 31st, 2009
12:45 pm

like April says: “I have come to love my paleness”…it is cool to be different :-)

Kerry's mom

July 31st, 2009
12:48 pm

I’ve been tanning for 30 years until the last 2 years. I’m too busy to tan or I would still be tanning a couple of times a week. I’m 71 years old – I’m not sick, I don’t have cancer of any kind and the only thing that has happened in the last 2 years is that I am Vitamin D deficient from NO RAYS! My skin is not leathery. Come on people…you don’t have to be crispy to be tan. A little color never hurt anyone. It is healthy in moderation as is anything else. Two drinks are good…more will earn you a DUI. Overeat and you are obese. Anything can be bad for you if you do it in excess. I love to tan and wish I could relax for 20 minutes and visit a tanning bed. I still work a full time job and love life. I know a lot of people who tan in moderation and unless you have tried it, don’t be so quick to criticize.

JJ

July 31st, 2009
1:13 pm

My daughter is mixed, and in the summer, she turns such a beautiful shade of brown/carmel. She uses sunscreen like I do (NOW), because she has been warned of skin cancer.

She always thought, “well I’m part black, so it’s natural that I won’t burn in the sun, and I’ll get a nice dark tan”.

She used to tan in a tanning bed, but the last time she did, she burnt herself pretty bad. The worker told her he had just replaced the bulbs in the bed, and to be careful. Well, you know 18 year olds know MORE than anyone else, so she didn’t heed his warning. She came home with a hefty burn from that bed. She hasn’t been back since. YEA!!!

Kathy

July 31st, 2009
1:25 pm

I used them in high school, but not since. We are all pretty vigilant with the sunscreen around here. I am Casper but hubby and Little E can get a tan just by talking about getting tan!! They are both blonde and blue eyed. I coat her in 60 and she is still so brown. She has not yet had a sunburn (knock on wood) thank goodness. I remember when I was young my mom put suntan oil on her lily white legs at the beach once. She ended up with sun poisoning and could not even walk! She was so sick. We are very careful now.

JJ….I like to use the Coppertone Sport when I am running. It lasts through the miles of sweat!

HB

July 31st, 2009
1:31 pm

Yes — thumbs up on the Coppertone Sport and Neutrogena Sport too. Both are breathable and feel so much better on than regular sublock.

HB

July 31st, 2009
1:32 pm

I mean sunblock. That’s what happens when I try to eat lunch and type at the same time.

AG

July 31st, 2009
1:49 pm

I get my tan from working in the yard. I run around taking care of everything that needs to be done in the skimpiest outfit I can manage. I use SPF on my face, neck, tattoos and on a larger mole I was born with. Other than that I use lotion. I’m very diligent about lotion and moisturizing my skin, and I rarely burn, though when I do it’s usually after a BIG day out in the sun where little could be done to prevent it. I know everyone is big to jump on the “tanning is evil” and “people who tan are so superficial” bandwagon, but has it occurred to anyone that some people who tan are doing so because of medical reasons? I saw a couple people comment on knowing people who tan because of psoriasis, but getting UV rays has also been proven to be effective in combating depression, which is a serious ailment.
I haven’t used tanning beds more than a couple dozen times over a few years, because of money, but I agree with other posters who said it was the most peaceful, relaxing, amazing experience of my life and I miss it dearly. The sun doesn’t give quite the same experience, but there is a big difference in my attitude and feelings when I’m not tanning to when I am. I could be in the worst mood, just ready to crawl in a hole and die and after 20 minutes in a tanning bed come out with a better attitude and ready to face life. Please don’t always assume that the reason people tan is totally superficial, even if they say that’s why they go. It may honestly be helping them cope with bigger issues. I also like what another poster said about anything in excess is bad for you!
But so is depression, and that kills people just as certainly, whether quickly or over time, personally, I would rather live a moderately long life and have a happy one than live to 105 being deeply miserable the whole time.

Becky

July 31st, 2009
1:59 pm

I don’t tan because I’m so white that it takes to much effort for something that goes away after a few days..I do think that people with a little color look better, but I’m not going to stress over not having color..I would love to be have the skin tone of Halle Berry, but hey I would also like to have a body like that also…

LDG

July 31st, 2009
2:23 pm

Here is the formula:

Intensity x Duration = Total Exposure.

Meaning, I take you to a beach in Long Island, NY in the middle of the hottest month of the year, August. Because of this beaches’ particular global location, where it resides in relevance to the equator, its position to the sun in the summer solstice, a few hours on this beach would be equivalent to laying for a 20 minute session in a 32 bulb, 100watts per bulb sunbed.

Now, on the same month, same day, I take you to a beach in Bermuda. Now that you are right on the equator and considering this beaches’ particular global location, where it resides in relevance to the equator, its position to the sun in the summer solstice, a few hours on this beach would be equivalent to laying for an 8 minute session in a 52 bulb, 160watts per bulb sunbed.

How do we know this?

Makers and manufacturers of sunbed lamps use something called a spectrometer to measure the radiation levels of UVB and UVA in order to match that which the sun sends to earth. By measuring this they can effectively manipulate and ultimately create a sunbed lamp that mimicks certain global positions.

What 19 year old girl really even comes close to understanding this science? the ones that do are not the ones working in the tanning salon, they are at places like MIT getting an education for higher aspirations in life.

So this understanding is left to be interpreted for the uneducated consumer by the young people behind the desk administering the UV exposure.

Now I ask you this:

Knowing the above sunbed to beach example, how often and for how long would allow yourself of your child to spend on that Long Island NY or Bermuda beach?

Not too long before you got thoughts of burning and skin cancer.

If this is the case why do indoor tanning and sunbed salons encourage unlimited monthly UV exposure packages to their clientele?

I would say its profit driven.

If you owned a tanning salon would you REALLY encourage your clients to only come 20x a year at $15 a session? That would be $300 in revenue for you per client and if you wanted a $300,000 revenue stream, the goal for most salons and thats conservative, you would need 1,000 steady clients.

With the utter saturation of indoor salons in the USA, approx. 28,000 with an additional 50,000 gyms and nail/hair salons offering a sunbed or two, thats 1,560 indoor tanning salons per state.

The reality is that mot salons have a steady client base of avid tanners of about 250 people. Using my math above that translates to $75,000 in revenue. It costs the average salon with 6 to 8 units about $6,000 per month to operate. They would have no profit. So instead they encourage the tanners to keep buying monthly packages and visit the sunbed more like 100 times per year and at $15 a pop 250 steady tanners you now have your $300,000 in revenue and your making a hell of a profit.

The bottom line is business and not true health concern for the general public. The ITA and Euro associations will continue to accuse the medical world of using “junk science” instead of truly acknowledging the fact that the sunbed operator is in it for the profit. If a few people have to die along the way so be it. That sure sounds like the tobacco mindset to me.

JJ

July 31st, 2009
2:39 pm

Burmuda is not on the equator…….If it is, that puts us here in Georgia in the southern hemisphere……..

AJ

July 31st, 2009
2:47 pm

I’ve only ever had two sessions of about 5 minutes or less in a tanning bed. (prior to a winter vacation in Hawaii). I found it more annoying than anything.

Like a couple other people, I prefer Coppertone Sport, although I vary the strength, depending on where I am and how much time I’ll be in the sun. I don’t like the single-color look (My arms are lighter on one side) and don’t care if I have those tanlines that avid tanners seem to hate.

JJ

July 31st, 2009
3:36 pm

Keith, thank you for a great week with your topics. Thank you for the Empty Nest topic………hope to see you soon…….JJ

Everyone have a wonderful weekend……

Teacher

July 31st, 2009
4:21 pm

Guess I’m the trouble maker. If you are interested in research you will find the sun has nothing to do with melanoma except when you stay out of it. But being Vitamin D deficient has a whale of a lot to do with Melanoma. And everyone (except the lifeguard) is Vitamin D deficient in the U.S. cause we been listening to the crazy croakers for the last 50 years.

Want to know more about avoiding cancer, diabetes, MS, Parkinson disease, fibromyalgia and a host of other chronic diseases?? Visit http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ and learn how to get yourself vitamin D sufficient and keep the doctor away. :-)

nurse&mother

July 31st, 2009
5:08 pm

Ok, just my $.02. A colleague of mine just did an inservice last fall on Vitamin D deficiency. If I’m not mistaken, one only needs about 15 minutes each day in the sun to get the right amount. (I love it when the quacks come out-on both extremes)

JJ, I’m with you 100% on your first post regarding the “fake” women. Why would any man want a woman who such a fake body?

I did a little research on sunscreen and I’ve found that “Blue Lizard” is an awesome brand. Apparently a lot of research was done to come up with the product. Look it up. My children burn on most other brands despite reapplying every 1.5-2 hours (even after being COATED with the stuff). Look for products with zinc oxide, even if you don’t choose blue lizard.

race_12_1

July 31st, 2009
5:50 pm

Here’s the reality–it doesn’t matter how tan you are or are not-it matters what kind of person you are. Chase a tan all you want-it will not change what people think of you. It should also not change what you think of yourself. If someone is shallow enough to think that whether or not they have a tan truly matters, then the issue of whether or not it is dangerous for them will mean nothing.

catlady

July 31st, 2009
10:24 pm

I am a blue eyed redhead and NO WAY would/could I use a tanning bed. In fact, I stay out of the sun as much as possible, and avoid being out at all from 10-4 each day. My kids don’t use the beds either. I showed them what skin cancers look like and that did it. It’s the near ghostly white for me–that way you can see me blush better! And I don’thave to worry about tan lines in pictures!

catlady

July 31st, 2009
10:25 pm

Even being out 6-9 am and 6-8 pm in the garden, I do get a little color and lots of freckles!

JATL

August 1st, 2009
1:53 am

I love the sun -the REAL sun! I do wear a 90 on my face and a 30 everywhere else though. In high school and college I used a tanning bed every spring once a week to get ready for summer, but it’s been years since I used one. I never liked the “fake and bake” look you got if you used one all the time. As deadly as mustard gas??? Nahhhh -I’m fine and my skin is fine (I get regular checkups at the dermotologist), but I would seriously caution anyone about using them. I think we know too much now for people to think they’re completely risk free.

JATL

August 1st, 2009
1:56 am

Oh -and as to why white people want to tan -well, darker skin just looks better in shorts and short skirts and sleeveless shirts. I guess that’s not the case for everyone, but I’ve always thought olive, dark brown and “black” (I mean, even super dark-skinned people aren’t really black) skin looked better when bared than the pasty white stuff.

Ray

August 1st, 2009
9:14 am

What, sharks are biting swimmers? Oh, wait…this is today’s senseless news item.

Tanning beds are frivolous, but in the NW, they help people cope with lack of sunlight. Pretty much every apartment and condo complex has a couple.

Why????

August 1st, 2009
10:13 am

JJ, you missed my point. I don’t understand the reason, particularly since it’s been known to cause cancer for years. And blonde hair? Please! How often do you really see black women with blonde hair? Is that your best come back?!

jodee

August 1st, 2009
1:41 pm

@ Why???? Every culture has its own definition of beauty and attractiveness. In some cultures it is skewers through the nose or long necks; in others it is painted toenails, grapefruit-shaped breasts, big round butts, or tanned skin.

I used to tan when I was younger, but I don’t like the look of it anymore, so I stopped. My husband absolutely loves tan lines and thinks they are very sexy.

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August 1st, 2009
5:52 pm

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mike

August 1st, 2009
7:42 pm

funny observation: in the caucasian race, it is desired to be tan, or darker… in the black race, light skin is heavily desired

Becky

August 3rd, 2009
7:53 am

JATL, I agree with that wholeheartly..

Joe

August 3rd, 2009
8:54 am

On Wednesday, the International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a proclamation that classifies UV-emitting tanning devices as “carcinogenic to humans”. It was the conclusion of a working Group that was convened by the IARC Monographs program. Most major news sources covered the issue as if it were something similar to North Korea’s nuclear program—typical on slow summer news days.

Many salons were interviewed as well as dermatologists to give their reactions.
As I watched and read the many comments, I was thrilled to see that the level of information at the fingertips of our salons has increased. I’ve spoken with many salons that had the chance to issue their own release, go on camera or get interviewed by their local paper. In a strange way, it showed me the determination by our industry on setting the record straight. I also had to grin when one report featured a dermatologist from North Carolina claiming that regarding the report,
” we’ve been advocating that tanning salons be regulated for quite some time”. North Carolina, as many of you know, has had indoor tanning regulations for quite some and arguably some of the most stringent regulations in the US! Don’t forget that the FDA has also regulated indoor tanning since 1980.

Now, here are the facts:

Overexposure to UV is harmful. This is not news! In 1992, UV energy from the sun was also classified as carcinogenic, yet our children still play baseball, play tennis, hike, swim, ski, in the great outdoors. This is the same sun that humans have basked in since creation. As salon professionals, we have consistently explained to the public that overexposure to UV is not good for you. For those that weigh the benefits and risks of UV, millions chose indoor tanning where UV is provided in moderation and responsibility by skin type and a timer. The sun has no such controls.

The report that put UV from tanning beds on the same level as such toxins as arsenic cigarettes and mustard gas has been tremendously over-hyped. Red wine, salted fish and natural sunlight are also on this list. We have seen this same type of frenzy before. Research suggests that indoor tanning produces vitamin D, that although the FDA forbids our industry from making medical claims, we know exists. Research also points out that endorphins-the same feel good hormone that many runners obtain-are also produced. Yet the media proclaims that endorphin production makes people “tanorexic” and links it to heroin addiction-yet runners are never paralleled as dope addicts!

About the research used: This proclamation by IARC on indoor tanning claims that it was the result of 20 different research reports. In the upcoming weeks, you will begin to see an investigation of these reports from many different indoor tanning industry sources that will illustrate the flaws found in much of this research. I’ll give you a couple upfront: the infamous “Westerdahl study”, an almost 25 year old report in which questionnaires were sent to various folks in Sweden (which has among the highest rates of skin cancer in the world) and asked them about their history of exposure to UV. Not done in a clinical setting, many of the respondents recollected using tanning devices prior to 1980-which at that time were almost 100% UVB-not modern indoor tanning systems. Another report used tanning beds and welding to draw a conclusion on the relationship of eye damage from radiation. Please note that most of the research that has been published on skin cancer has been done in areas of the world where skin cancer rates are extremely high such as Australia and Scandinavia.

The Indoor Tanning Association also has run a reply in the NY Times this week –visit http://www.theita.com for the response.

Teens and Tanning @ Vive Now

August 3rd, 2009
2:32 pm

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August 3rd, 2009
10:37 pm

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JZ

August 4th, 2009
11:32 am

SCARY PRESS RELEASE. What really needs to be said is that sunlight has lots of health benefits like Vitamin D etc. Most people feel better having been in the sun for a short time.

The cases of skin cancer pale in comparison to things like smoking and a myriad of other “bad” things for you. Smoking kills hundreds of thousands per year. Skin cancer less than 10k and most if not all those cases were either from the older generation where moderation was not used OR simply failed to react to a skin issue. This takes years to develop into a harmful thing. I have first hand experience. I had some areas removed and they were not were any sunlight got to them.

This is very unclear science at best.

TeenDad

August 11th, 2009
8:52 pm

I’m now 19 and experiencing being a dad. I must say although it feels good it’s still hard. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but to be honest, the hard part is having to balance time. My daughter is great and makes managing her never dreadful. -Teen dad

Bird

August 12th, 2009
11:36 am

Going in the natural sun does not cut the risk of skin cancer. There are risks of skin cancer with tanning beds but the risk is higher with the natural sun. I was told by a doctor to use tanning beds. I almost died from a heat stroke from the natural sun. It does not take hours in the sun to do it to me either. I am suppose to start tanning sessions about two weeks before summer gets here to get me used to the rays, it does work. I have not had a heat stroke sense, and that has been over 17 years. If going to a tanning salon (I don’t worry about that now, I bought a used commercial bed from a private owner for less than a home model) you have to check out the salon before buying a membership!! Check to make sure they take proper care of their beds. Do they have a lot of customers (word gets out, good customers go to good service) and do they clean the beds right away and clean them well? How often do they change their bulbs? Are they willing to take time to answer your questions? Do they ask you questions when it is your first time there? CHECK THESE PLACES OUT, some are gross. I went to one, there was no refund, I paid the $4 for only one visit because I was never there before, and it looked clean from the lobby area. The bed was gross. I walked out and took the $4 for a loss. You can get eye infections from that place, I have been so careful sense, but now that I have my own I know it is cleaned after every use. Only me and our kids (all grown up and have kids of their own) use it. I use common sense, don’t push it, start slow, moisturize, don’t tan for at least one hour after showering, don’t shower for at least two hours after tanning, use good lotions and it is good to wear eye protection that is for tanning beds. If not your eyes can be burned and you will have severe dry eye, possibly. I did not tan well in the regular sun. I have a really good tan from using the tanning bed. Everyone is different, tanning beds work for me and I can enjoy my summer without feeling sick.

Bird

August 12th, 2009
11:42 am

I forgot, unless you are an experienced tanner with a good tan, do not use lotions with a tingle factor. I have been tanning for over 17 years, I have dark tan, if I use a tingle factor over no 7, I feel just like I did when I had sun stroke. It is not for everyone.

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August 12th, 2009
10:37 pm

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August 13th, 2009
4:01 am

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Raygn

August 14th, 2009
5:40 pm

Okay, So i tan maybe like 4 times a week, And ive been tanning for a year. I have no sign of skin cancer or anything other cancer. The worst thing i had was a case of itching my skin like crazy. Because i got burnt. I don’t think you can get cancer from tanning if you just do it a couple times. I have no moles or anything, I don’t smoke either. So for all the pasty people out there, Don’t brag about being white and loving it and bagging on people who do tan! Cause really if you haven’t tried it, You have no word. :)
But anyways, I love tanning i tan really easy and my skin is like light caramel, Thank god. But i don’t think you should criticize people who tan. It’s their life and we all know the facts, Were the one’s taking the risks.