Shelby: Sun Tanning and Skin Essay

Submitted By shelbysalley9
Words: 941
Pages: 4

Did you know more than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually (Polsky, 2012)? It has been found that ultraviolet radiation or sun exposure is the number one cause of skin cancer (Sun Exposure, Skin Cancer and Other Sun Damage, 2013). This same UV radiation are used in tanning beds and is just as risky. In addition to skin cancer, other negative risks of using tanning beds include eye damage, early aging and harmful infections. In April of 2005, Glenna Kohl detected a hard, golf ball–size lump near her groin at age 22 while working out at her college gym in Rhode Island. She then left the gym and went home to put ice on what she thought was a sports injury. After the lump had been there for a long period of time she decided to see a doctor. She had a biopsy done and later the doctor handed Glenna and her family a horrifying diagnosis: The lump ended up being melanoma, the deadliest of the three forms of skin cancer. The doctors believed this cancer was a result of too much sun exposure and indoor tanning. If melanoma are caught at an earlier stage, normally starting out as a small bump or mole on the skin, it is highly curable. Glenna’s had reached stage III, which meant the cancer had spread beyond the skin and into the lymph nodes. She battled this deadly cancer for four years and later died at age 26 (Goldberg, 2012). The indoor tanning bed was invented in Europe in 1906 by a German medical company named, Heraeus. This company created individual UV tanning lamps. They were originally created to help patients develop more Vitamin D to absorb Calcium. This therapy was especially helpful to those fighting bone diseases like Ricketts. It became a stylish trend in the 1920’s after two famous French women Coco Chanel and Josephine Baker sported tanned skin. A German scientist by the name of Friedrich Wolff decided to take tanning lamps to the next level and test the effect of artificial UV light on athletes in the 1970’s. After noticing the side effect was a golden, healthy glow, it became extremely popular. After that, a mass of tanning beds were produced in Europe and today it is still a growing industry both in America and all over the rest of the world. From 1978 – 1988, tanning beds in the America were not under any government regulations, but now, federal law forces tanning salons and manufacturers to remain committed to the rules of skin cancer prevention (“SunTan”, 2013). Tanning beds have become increasingly popular over the last several years due to the heightened fashion of tanned skin. “UV light has been shown to increase the release of opioid- like endorphins, feel-good chemicals that relieve pain and generate feelings of well-being, potentially leading to dependency.” Because of this, dermatologists suggest that tanning may be addictive, especially when started at an early age and done frequently (Hornung,2013). The bronzed look tends to give people a sense of beauty and increases their self-esteem. Tanning also helps hide skin impurities like veins or dark spots. In addition, it also adds a youthful and healthy glow and makes one look more muscular and toned. Tanning beds has been known to tighten your skin and reduce cellulite as well. Plus, indoor tanning is quick and convenient , and can add color to your skin even in the cold winter months. While tanning makes people feel beautiful there are many potential health problems that could arise due to prolonged UV