Tanning beds are dangerous to your health

Isn’t Florida known as the “Sunshine State”?

Then why do they have so many tanning beds?

That’s what I learned in a recent New York Times article regarding the dangers of tanning beds: Warning: That Tan Could Be Hazardous.

Here in the Sunshine State, there are more tanning salons than McDonald’s restaurants, CVS stores or Bank of America branches, according to a 2014 study by University of Miami researchers.

Interesting. I would have expected my city of Seattle (and yes, it is just as gray and wet as rumors say) to have more, but it doesn’t. And for that we should be thankful, because evidence shows that indoor tanning is linked to the increasing number of melanoma cases.

For decades, researchers saw indoor tanning as little more than a curiosity. But a review of the scientific evidence published last year estimated that tanning beds account for as many as 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year, including 6,000 cases of melanoma, the deadliest form.

And clinicians are concerned about the incidence rate of melanoma in women under 40, which has risen by a third since the early 1990s, according to data from the younger patients coming to us with skin cancer,” said Dr. Eleni Linos, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. “That is a new phenomenon.”

Young women who used tanning beds a lot as teenagers, some up to 10 times or more per week, are being diagnosed with melanoma in their 20s and 30s.

Note to parents: Teenagers generally do not make good health decisions!

Related post: A must-watch video about melanoma

More restrictions, warnings and taxes have been placed on tanning salons in the last few years, but the best way to eradicate them is to simply not use them.

More public education needs to be done, and more parents need to be aware of the long-term dangers of tanning beds.

If nothing else, tanning damages the skin and leads to premature aging, and billions of dollars are being spent every year on anti-aging products and procedures.

Save your money. Avoid tanning beds.

Sláinte,

Frugal Nurse

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