Some states set their ban for under 18, and others, like New Jersey, set theirs ban for under 17. And teens are all “What? I can see an R-rated movie, but I can’t tan?” Yeah. Because movies don’t give you skin cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, some of your classmates could be walking around with skin cancer because it happens to be the second most common cancer found in those 15 to 29. Oh and teens are at a huge risk because anyone “tanning before the age of 35 increase their melanoma risk by 87 percent.” Yikes!
When I was in high school, going to the tanning bed was pretty “in.” Some of my girlfriends and I would go together after school. I went to the tanning bed more than I should have. I figured that since I never burned when I was outside that I wasn’t at a risk for getting cancer. Well, I was totally wrong.
Fortunately, I always get yearly skin checks because I have a lot of moles and freckles. When I was eighteen, my dermatologist noticed a change in a mole on my arm. That mole had been there forever, but I didn’t notice anything different with it until my derm pointed it out to me.
She cut it out and sent it to get biopsied right away. It turns out that mole was precancerous. She told me the sudden change was definitely a result of my bad tanning bed habit.
Having a mole cut out of my arm was a very unpleasant experience, but it could have gotten much, much worse and led to melanoma. Now I don’t touch tanning beds, and I wear sunscreen every single day.
Practice safe sun and don’t hit the bed. Use self tanner if you’re really craving a glow, but stay away from the fake rays!
Do you go to the tanning bed? How often? Have you ever had a mole removed? Tell me in the comments!