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News & Specials

The Dangers of Indoor Tanning

The World Health Organization has declared indoor tanning devices to be cancer-causing agents that are in the same category as tobacco. Studies have found a 59% increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning.

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Preventing Skin Cancer

Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma.1,2 You can have fun in the sun and decrease your risk of skin cancer. Here’s how you can prevent skin cancer:

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  • Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product or spray, but continue to use sunscreen with it.

Information from the American Academy of Dermatology website.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2011.
Robinson, JK. Sun Exposure, Sun Protection and Vitamin D. 
JAMA 2005; 294: 1541-43.