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Tanning Beds

Breaking the Habit

  New research from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center found that people who use any type of tanning bed for any amount of time are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma. Risk increases with frequency of use, regardless of age, gender or device.
  The study found that there is no safe tanning device.
  That’s bad news for the addicted or pathological tanners that frequent tanning salons. But another study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found a way to help college-age women kick the habit.
  A study of 435 college women from 18 to 22 years of age who attended tanning salons were in the study. One group had body dysmorphia issues and hated being pale. The other group was seen as having seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and was self-medicating for depression.
  Both groups, it turned out, reacted to a much greater fear than deadly skin cancer……wrinkles. Even the SAD participants responded to the threat of looking bad. When given a booklet explaining how ultraviolet rays destroy collagen in the skin, indoor tanning visits dropped by 35 percent. The women were also given some alternatives including new ways of socializing or getting spray-on or self-tanning cream applications.
  According to the National Cancer Institute, melanoma rates among Caucasian women aged 15 to 39 rose 50 percent between 1980 and 2004.

Published: August 08, 2010
Issue: Fall 2010 Issue