I read this article on tanning beds, and it made me sick to my stomach to think about all the times I went tanning before prom or homecoming as a high schooler. And while I know I went a lot less than many girls my age, and I stopped many years ago because I knew it was so bad (and even when I was doing it, I knew it wasn’t good but somehow justified it to myself), I just hate that I did so much damage to my skin in the name of not being pale. Ack. I mean, obviously, I know what I can do now to be safe, and there’s no reason to beat myself up over something I can’t change, but still.
Here’s what really sticks out to me from the article:
But as use of tanning beds has increased among people under 30, doctors have seen a parallel rise in the numbers of young people with skin cancer. In Britain, melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, is now the leading cancer diagnosed in women in their 20s. Normally, skin cancer rates are highest in people over 75.
Previous studies found younger people who regularly use tanning beds are eight times more likely to get melanoma than people who have never used them.
A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. Experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic. Previously, only one type of ultraviolet radiation was thought to be lethal.
The new classification means tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.
Nevermind that repeated tanning (in the sun or a tanning bed) every year makes you age faster. Yuck. I need to read articles like this every once in a while to be able to embrace my paleness…I mean, even with repeated, dangerous sun exposure, I’m never going to be dark (see Monday’s post for evidence of my “deep, dark tan”). Palest bridesmaid at the wedding this weekend? For sure. And I’m gonna be okay with that. (Not because I think everyone else will have tanned excessively, but because I’m usually the palest person wherever I am.)