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Tanning Beds ARE a Serious No-No

Spring has sprung (well technically and date wise, but maybe not temperature wise where you are). It is so nice to not only exercise outside but to wear skirts without tights. Bare legs are so much more pleasant than tights or hose, but what is a girl to do if she has pale legs? There are plenty of options, but one is not using a tanning bed - and here's why.

An International research group recently concluded that tanning beds substantially increase the chances of users getting skin cancer, particularly melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. For tanning bed users under 35 the chances of developing melanoma are even higher. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that people who used sunbeds were 15 percent more likely to develop melanoma, based on the review of 19 studies. A review of seven studies found that exposure to tanning beds before age 35 boosted melanoma risk by 75 percent. YIKES!!!

Ironically people used to fake 'n bake thinking it would protect their skin from subsequent sun exposure. Alas, this doesn't seem to be the case. The IARC strongly discourages young adults from using tanning beds. Tanning beds have become coin operated and can be used unattended and unsupervised.

So what is a pale legged, skirt wearing girl to do? My friend DearSugar has tips on applying self tanning cream flawlessly. Fear not...Fab and Bella have a made a list of their favorite self tanners. My only other idea is to love your pale skin and avoid light colored skirts that blend in with your skin tone - choose a bright color instead. After all it is SPRING, isn't it?

Join The Conversation
luvlior luvlior 6 years
Decades ago, cigarette companies actually advertised that smoking was HEALTHY! This is no different with tanning salons. They claim that you will be getting vitamin D, increasing your metabolism, curing acne etc... and way more outlandish claims. People need to wake up and smell the coffee because NO amount of sun exposure is healthy. Tanning beds are way too risky. I tried it once, and it was nothing special. I'll stick to my spray tans in hopes of saving my skin. I don't want to look like an old leathery hag by the time I'm thirty....
JessUnderwood JessUnderwood 10 years
I used to tan in high school, before proms and such. Now I'm scared to death of skin cancer and run around after my kids with sunscreen constantly. It's not worth it,,
katie225 katie225 10 years
whether or not a base tan causes skin cancer, a base tan DOES do this: decrease the elasticity in the skin causing premature aging, hideous wrinkles, leathery looking skin, and increases the appearance of cellulite. do you want vitamin d? DRINK SOME MILK!!!! don't do damage to your skin for the sake of a vitamin you can easily get from milk. as someone who had precancerous condition on her nose when she was 8 years old (not from burning, either, it was from being out in the sun so much i got a tan), please do not tan in any way shape or form. from the sun and from a bed, it is horrible, horrible, and more horrible. embrace your natural skin color or just use a lotion. you know what? all you people who want to tan, go right ahead, because i love the entertainment at the county fair every summer when i see leathery 35 year olds who thought they were looking hot. and now they look like s**t. gotta love that cellulite!
ezliving_jim ezliving_jim 10 years
By the way, for those who are interested in reading up on the benefits of UV light, I recommend "Solar Power For Optimal Health" by Dr. Marc Sorenson and "The UV Advantage" by Dr. Michael Holick.
ezliving_jim ezliving_jim 10 years
I'll let the doctors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute defend their study. I simply agree with them. I'm not the one you need to correct, baltimoregal. I think you are spinning the news because it conflicts with your beliefs. That's understandable. The results of the study were stunning and contradict the common wisdom of many doctors. The doctors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute used artificial UV light (tanning lamps) in their study. Most people understand that tanning in the controlled environment of a tanning salon is better than toasting at the beach. I expect the doctors at Johns Hopkins have a high regard and respect for the doctors at Dana-Farber. Many of the doctors at Johns Hopkins graduated from Harvard Medical School. The Dana-Farber study confirmed what was suspected for a long time; the root cause of skin cancer is genetic. The study identified the p53 protein, "a protein known as the "master watchman of the genome" for its ability to guard against cancer-causing DNA damage has been found to provide an entirely different level of cancer protection: By prompting the skin to tan in response to ultraviolet light from the sun, it deters the development of melanoma skin cancer...." "The number one risk factor for melanoma is an inability to tan; people who tan easily or have dark pigmentation are far less likely to develop the disease," says the study's senior author, David E. Fisher, MD, PhD, director of the Melanoma Program at Dana-Farber and a professor in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston. That's a clear, straightforward message! If one has a defective p53, he is more likely to develop skin cancer. Tanning stimulates p53 and protects against skin cancer. Of course, those with a defective p53 shouldn't tan and nobody should sunburn. The key is moderation. This study also may explain so-called "tanning addiction." "Even as p53 is causing skin to tan during sunlight exposure, it may also affect neuronal circuits," Fisher says. "These proteins may provide an explicit link between the regulation of tanning and of mood." Baltimoregal, my tanning salon is in Anne Arundel County. Your first tanning session is free. Peace.
baltimoregal baltimoregal 10 years
Well, being that you own a tanning salon, I can see why you'd like to believe this but I don't believe this for a second. I work for and see doctors at Johns Hopkins and have heard no such information. In fact, from what I read FROM THE INSTITUTE'S ACTUAL PAGE at the link you gave is total misinformation. What they were doing with this study was trying to find out why people who don't tan are more likely to get skin cancer. Believe what you want to believe but don't be spreading lies about serious things like cancer risk and people's health!!! And I will correct you every time you post this misinformation.
ezliving_jim ezliving_jim 10 years
The doctors at Harvard medical School's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute concluded in a recent medical study that tanning protects against skin cancer. Moderate tanning is healthy behavior. Dermatologists have been misleading people forever. Link to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Study: Don't sunburn. Always protect your eyes from UV light. Wear FDA approver eyewear when tanning and sunglasses outside. Also, depending on your skin type, 1 or 2 sessions in a tanning bed will process all the healthy vitamin D3 a human body can use.
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
Good for you rockinHeartJD, I'm 23 and I tan like Hope, fast. I guess it depends on your skin type. Olive colored skin is pretty and easy to tan. No one should bake in the sun :) I never heard of a tanning bed causes harm to anybody, but I dont go there :)
RockinHeartJD RockinHeartJD 10 years
thanks for the tip on the dove energy glow, darcyrue. i tanned every week for about 4 years. no lie. i am 22 years old now and finally learned to embrace my natural irish skin tone. i am not pale, but DEFINITELY not ultra tan. for some reason i thought being tan and exotic looking was more beautiful, but now i know that looking healthy and natural is what it is all about. if only all the younger girls knew this! tanning salons are blowing up everywhere!!
Midnightkiss4u09 Midnightkiss4u09 10 years
I am with you Hope, the natural sun is the best. Pale people look sickly. Hope you are naturally dark
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
darcyrue...that's what I use, too. Love it.
darcyrue darcyrue 10 years
I have struggled with self tanners forever! The new Dove Energy Glow is AMAZING! I use it 3 times a week (after my shower in the morning I put it on and wear a robe around for 10 mintues then put my clothes on) and everyone keeps asking me where I have been on vacation. It is not orange or fake looking and the smell is nice too (not icky like others). I have had three complements in the last 6 months alone where people use the word "glowing" to refer to the beautiful color of my skin! Make sure to wash your hands because the lotion that gets stuck between your fingers will turn darker. It is amazing! I love it!
cams cams 10 years
Hope, me too! i LOVE laying out in the sun, it makes me feel so relaxed and happy. But I am NOT paying for it. The SUN is FREE Plus, hello, you get vitamin D from UV those rays arent all that bad
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I haven't tanned since the '80's. Yes it ages me a bit but at almost 37 my skin looks better than most 21 year-olds. I love that I am pale plus the healthy glow stuff works well. My sister had first stage melanoma a few years back and they have found that heredity plays a role too!
Maggie-Mae Maggie-Mae 10 years
I agree with Alleycat, pale IS beautiful too! Take a tip from Nicole Kidman & Kirsten Dunst, flash those white limbs!
Hope5 Hope5 10 years
No tanning bed for Me!!I love to get outside in the sun for my tan!!It doesn't take Me long to get a good tan.
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
Everytime I see a tanning salon, I mentally read "cancer store". I'll stick with my self-tanning lotion.
aris4l aris4l 10 years
I am SO GLAD you posted this!!! I was considering going to get a 'healthy glow' then ditch it until I got some color in my legs. Not anymore!!! I'll embrace my inner Nicole Kidman instead.
baltimoregal baltimoregal 10 years
Join the Late Night with Conan O'Brien Pale Force!!
Jim teaches Conan how to be a pale superhero. Step one: slap on some flannel blanket strength SPF 8000 sunscreen.
mrsjacki mrsjacki 10 years
Geezzeee! I have been using a sunless tanner here lately, but only because I haven't had a chance to get to the tanning place. Did the report say how many minutes or days a week the 75% were tanning? Or that probably didn't make a difference, huh? Jacki _____________________________________________________________ Proud of my Marine!!!
smart-blonde smart-blonde 10 years
I look like Poster Child for the Noble and Most Ancient House of Malfoy, so I never leave the house without sunblock. This girl with pale legs says, "What's a girl with pale legs to do? Fooey on self-tanner. Grin and bare 'em!"
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
I have a friend who goes for like 10 minutes most days in the winter to help with her SAD. I haven't tanned since it was *free* for me five years ago. It was still gross to me then...but it was free! My favorite thing in the world every summer is the gradual tanning lotion. It helps me get to a really nice, healthy color. (Because I dont' tan, I burn!)
baltimoregal baltimoregal 10 years
That's right. ALL skin colors are beautiful, from the lightest to the darkest. Embrace your natural color, ladies! And note- I am extremely pale!
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