Posted by Upstate Dermatology on May.18.15 in Skin Care
Woman Posts Skin Cancer Selfie to Warn About the Dangers of Tanning
An Alabama mom wants to warn the world of the dangers of tanning in sun beds. 27 year old Tammy Willoughby used to be a frequent visitor to tanning beds when she was a teenager and at age 21 she was diagnosed with skin cancer. She has had basal cell carcinoma five times and squamous cell carcinoma once.
“Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t let tanning prevent you from seeing your child grow up. That’s my biggest fear now that I have a two-year-old little boy of my own. I didn’t really even think about the future or skin cancer at the time.”
Willoughby is now doing everything she can to ensure that she’s spreading the message of how dangerous tanning beds are. According to American Academy of Dermatology, indoor tanning before the age of 35 has been associated with a significant increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Yet, over a million Americans, 70% of whom are girls and women, ages 16 to 29 years old, visit a tanning salon daily.
Preventing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the best way to diminish your chance of getting all skin cancers, including melanoma. Be sun smart. Don’t use tanning beds. Reduce your risk by protecting your skin.
To protect against damage from the sun’s rays, it is important to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest; to wear protective clothing; and to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
The time when UV exposure is likely to be greatest is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during daylight savings time and during the late spring and early summer in North America. Nonetheless, protection from UV rays is important all year round. UV rays can be as strong on cloudy, hazy days as well as on bright, sunny ones.
There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanned skin will forever contain cells whose genetic structures have been permanently damaged by the sun.