This could be a really short post – NO!
But what about right before I go to the beach or on a cruise? NO. What about a base tan for the spring? NO. What about just before prom? NO. What about before my wedding? NO. What if it helps my acne or other skin problem? NO. What if I am very careful with my exposure times like the tanning salon says? NO
Wow, I sound pretty negative on this topic…Well, YES, I am.
So, let me play the devil’s advocate and ask the tough questions…
Have you ever used a tanning bed Dr Rosenberger? Yes (GASP!). When I was in medical school I wanted to look good for a dance ( what a hypocrite I am). First of all, I wasn’t a dermatologist yet. Second of all, I honestly didn’t know it was that bad. Which is why I assume that the majority of the population doesn’t know either. For most of you who know me, I am a teetotaler. All IN or all OUT. So, I bought a membership for a month at my gym ( Anyone remember Nautilus Plus in Morgantown? ). I went every single day for a whole month, little decal on my hip and all. Hilarious. Sad. Good news, I picked up my husband with that tan. Bad news, I had my first skin cancer about 5 years later. So a shout out to all the gym owners who are trying to improve people’s health. Unplug and close the doors on those tanning beds.
Why are you so passionate about this? Well, first of all let me point out that I check patient’s skin every day. I see the results every day. I remove at least 5 skin cancers every single day I see patients. I have had cancer myself. SKIN CANCER CAN BE DEADLY.
Aren’t you being a little dramatic, just trying to get people to get their skin checked? No. Here’s the facts, which you can read in more detail at the American Academy of Dermatology’s statement on the dangers of indoor tanning. Short story is that even ONE USE of a tanning bed increases the risk of melanoma by at least 59% according to a number of independent studies and RISK INCREASES with EACH USE!
I heard dermatologists recommend tanning beds to treat skin disease and that you have one in your office? We have TWO (Gasp!), but they are not tanning beds. To learn more about treating skin disease with UV light see our website pages about phototherapy and excimer laser under procedures. Also you can learn more at the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Oh NO! I didn’t realize it was that bad! Now what do I do? First, stop using a tanning bed. Second, share this information with someone you know who is using a tanning bed. Third, have your skin checked on a yearly basis, and check yourself on a monthly basis. Here’s a link on what to look for at the AAD’s SPOT SKIN CANCER site.
Finally, there is a current bill in the WV state legislature banning tanning for minors. Encourage your delegate to support this bill.
According to a recent article in US News and World Report, under a 2013 state law, children under the age of 14 are already banned from tanning beds in West Virginia businesses, and those 14 to 17 need parental permission or consent. The latest bill would ban anyone under 18, even if they get parental permission.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 43 states regulate minors’ use of tanning facilities, and 15 states and the District of Columbia ban them outright for people under 18.
If you have a friend or relative who has used or is currently using a tanning bed please share this information with them!
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If you would like to schedule a consultation to see if any of your spots are worrisome, call the office at 3043680111.