Seriously, Who Still Uses Tanning Beds?
By now we all know that tanning beds are harmful to our health… or so I thought. Lately I've been shocked to find that there are still many women who use tanning beds for a colour pick me up, especially pre-beach vacay, and now there is an outrageous news story out of New Jersey where a mother is facing criminal charges for tanning her 6-year-old daughter. (Check out the video below for more.) Sure, she's a particular brand of crazy (you need only check out her Oompa Loompa skin tone to see that) but perhaps it's time for a refresher on the harmful effects of tanning beds.
In Windsor, Ontario today the local Canadian Cancer Society even issued a special campaign in the hopes of stopping teenagers from getting under the lights. “From the statistics we see the problem is not getting better, but getting worse," said Christine Richer, volunteer engagement co-ordinator for the cancer society in Windsor. The campaign is called "Tan-Free Prom", and the society hopes it will deter many teens who seek out a "healthy glow" for their big night.
The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a healthy glow. Our skin changes colour in the sun as a way to protect itself: as UV rays penetrate the skin they attack our DNA and melanin (pigment) is produced as a protective measure to try and prevent that damage; but the damage is already done. Too many of us believe that we are invincible—that skin cancer won't effect us. Well my grandfather had it, my grandmother just had a spot burned off of her forehead, and both my mother and father have had patches of skin cancer burned away. Ask around, I bet the statistics aren't in your favour. And trust me, skin cancer does not discriminate, nor can it always simply be burned off.
The good news? There are self-tanning creams out there that work, and sunscreens that are hell bent on protecting you. Wear a hat, park it in the shade, and get that "healthy glow" from other activities. Ahem, you know what I mean.
Have your say! Do you still use tanning beds?
By: Laura; Photo by iStockphoto.