Don’t become a victim to a ‘Bad Tan’

By Sharon Kolankiewicz
March 17, 2005

Shane Evans

Tanning salons are becoming more popular, female population. There is so much pressure,for the “perfect.” image. There is nothing like the “perfect tan,” but at what cost? More tanning salons have been put under pressure because of the harmful effects the tanning beds have caused people.

Regardless of the health warnings, many girls still want to get a “perfect tan.” However, what exactly is a tan? According to experts, a tan is damaged skin that is more likely to wrinkle and sag than skin that hasn’t been tanned.

Many girls on Cabrini’s campus have paid visits to tanning salons like many females around the nation. Some go regularly and some only go every so often, for example before a big dance. One student who prefers not to be named admits that she still will go to tanning salons.

“I know there are risks. I am not going to let those risks stop me. If I want a tan, I am going to. It is my decision.” an anonymous student-tanner said.

However, there are also people who choose not to go to salons because of personal experiences. Amanda Murphy, a sophomore, admits to going to tanning salons a few times. However, she does not go as often.

“I don’t go to them anymore really, because I heard they are really bad for you in the end,” Murphy said. Similar to Murphy, sophomore Fiona Bride is strongly against the use of tanning salons.

“I personally don’t like tanning salons. I have never gone to one, nor will I go to one. I know people personally who had skin cancer and have died from it. All from tanning,”Bride said.

Recently, “Health-Watcher” sent a team of undercover reporters to investigate local tanning salons. They discovered the true harmful effects from going into a tanning salon. According to recent reports, many of the employees are not certified in this field.

Many of the businesses do not require a mandatory Federal certification for the employees. Basically, many customers have fallen victim to the businesses doing whatever they want at the customer’s expense.

Many health experts encourage customers to be aware of how long they are under the UV lights. They also recommend checking with a doctor. It is important to see if there is any family history involving skin sensitivity.

Dermatologist, Janet Pena says another way tanning salons can be more dangerous than outdoors tanning says, “Tanning can’t be regulated in salons like outdoors, and it is impossible to recognize the damage until it is too late. There are high chances that someone could develop skin cancer or melanoma.”

So how harmful can lying in a tanning bed be? First of all, they give off at least twice as much ultraviolet (UV) radiation as the sun. The skin serves as a protective barrier, but it is very sensitive. Dermatologists explain that the radiation waves in the beds are long waves (UVA). The rays from the sun are short-wave (UVB). However, the UVA waves can go deeper into the skin pores causing permanent damage. Not only can skin be damaged, but so can the eyes. Even with the goggles, the combination of the UVA and UVB rays can cause a burning of the eye corneas.

Despite all of the health hazards, doctors recommend if one does go to a tanning salon, there are precautions to consider. The first step is to limit exposure to the rays whether they are in a salon or outside. The second step is to use the goggles to protect your eyes. Remember, make sure the goggles are sterilized. One of the most important steps is to consider medical history. For example, people who are treated for lupus or diabetes or are susceptible to cold sores, the conditions can be aggravated. Individuals on medications such as antihistamines, tranquilizers or birth control pills can be very vulnerable to damger. The skin will be very sensitive to artificial light.

Whether or not people continue to visit the tanning salons, health experts and dermatologists encourage people to be smart. Remember to check into the credibility of the salon, know family medical history, limit exposure, use sunscreen, and always protect your eyes.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Sharon Kolankiewicz

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