Is the tanning bed calling your name? Do you have an upcoming vacation, party, family get together, graduation that you’d like to have a little color for? Most of us feel tempted by the tanning bed at some point during the winter months…but is it worth it?
We attended a very interesting training last week put on by the melanoma foundation of New England. The training entitled “skinny on skin” reiterated the dangers of tanning and how to identify suspicious moles.
Here are some of the facts we learned at the training- facts that we think you all should know as well!
ABCDE’s Of Detecting Suspicious Moles
Normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through a normal spot, you would have two symmetrical halves. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides.
A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.
A mole that is more than one hue is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one color. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole.
If it is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This is includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry).
Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way.
- Melanoma rates are increasing faster than nearly all other cancers.
- Melanoma is a relatively easy disease to prevent.
- Most melanomas are easy to stop if caught soon enough — all it takes is a yearly skin exam.
- Melanoma kills one person every hour.
- Melanoma is the most common cancer among women aged 25-32
- As many as 10,000 people a year die from melanoma.
- The New England states have a higher than average rate of melanoma
- The increased risk of melanoma associated with early tanning bed use is 59% for people whose first exposure to artificial UV rays in a tanning bed occurred before age 35 years and that risk increased with the number of tanning bed sessions per year.
- It is not safe to tan in the sun or in a tanning booth.
- The more you tan and the younger you start tanning, the more likely it is that you will get melanoma.
- Using a tanning bed for 20 minutes is equivalent to spending one to three hours a day at the beach with no sun protection at all.
- Tanning beds put out three to six times the amount of radiation given off by the sun.
- For most people, 5-10 minutes of unprotected sun 2-3 times a week is enough to help your skin make Vitamin D, which is essential for your health. Getting more sun won’t increase your Vitamin D level, but it will increase your risk of skin cancer. Vitamin D also comes from orange juice, milk, fish, and supplements.
THINK BEFORE YOU TAN!
Love the skin you are in! If you really hate being pale, they have come a long way with sunless tanners and spray tans so these are great options!
Some of our favorite sunless tanners are: