Protecting Against Skin Cancer
Numerous advertisements promote the beauty of a deep, dark tan. But, what's the price you could pay to achieve that beauty?
"Increases your chance of having melanomas. It's a skin cancer, the deadliest of the skin cancers you can get," warned Dr. Pamela Eslami, a plastic surgeon. "It's a little disheartening because some people start tanning at a much younger age, in their teenage years."
Pamela Scheulen, who works for Dr. Elsami, used a tanning bed regularly until it damaged her skin.
"I was an owner of a tanning bed and I actually sold it," Scheulen admitted. "Everyone knows the dangers. They just ignore it and say, 'I want to look good for my prom' or 'I want to look good for my date this weekend.'"
So, how do ultra-violet rays affect your skin?
"With the sun-damaged skins, you have a lot of brown spots," explained Eslami. "And that's basically your body's natural body trying to protect you from the sun. My best advice, if you want youthful skin, [if] you don't want discolorations or a lot of wrinkles, is basically to stay out of the sun."
Tanning substitutes such as lotions and sprays are safer, although Dr. Eslami said it's not clear yet if they also could have harmful effects.