Tanning Part 1 

Summer is rapidly closing in.And that has a lot of folks using tanning beds to get a head start on swimsuit season.But before you hit the tanning bed, there are some things you should know about the light bulbs used to tan you, and the dangers they pose.Meghan Hayward has more on the consequences of using tanning beds.For years tanning has been seen as a form of relaxation and even a confidence booster.But we are now finding out, that golden glow might not be worth the dangers that could follow.Indoor tanning is a 5 billion dollar industry according to the Indoor Tanning Association.Which also says there are about 30 million people who use tanning beds yearly.”People feel like it helps their appearance and sometimes make them feel more comfortable and self-confident.”The American Academy of Dermatology says tan skin is often believed to be a sign of good health.But that isn’t the case.”There has to be damage to DNA to develop tanning. So it’s a response to damage to your cells and what your cells are trying to do is produce some pigment to protect themselves from the UV. So your body produces melanin which is the pigment in your skin and that gives you the tan.”In Maine, new tanning regulations recently went into effect.Now anyone under the age of 14 is banned from tanning beds and 14 and 15-year-olds must have a legal guardian present at each session.Some say advertisements for tanning are directed at teens and young adults.”Advertising tanning as something that is quote healthy for you is something that I see as not appropriate. And if there is advertising going on for tanning then I think warnings should also be applied to that advertisement.”The UV Spectrum is wide-ranging.Most salons use UVA bulbs for tanning.”It’s wave length is slightly longer and it reaches deeper into the skin and it gives the tanning response that people want.”These rays can cause premature wrinkling and skin cancer.”Well there’s 3 main types of skin cancer. There’s basel cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and then melanoma.”According to the Academy of Dermatology, melanoma is the most deadly of all skin cancers.Every year, more than 8-thousand americans die from melanoma and it’s projected that more than 1-hundred thousand americans will develop melanoma annually.”In the last couple of years especially, certainly increasing incidents of skin cancer that we definitely know the UVA is a contributor. So now the standard recommendation is we don’t recommend people do elective tanning. Particularly if they have high risk skin or a history of skin cancer.”For those who still opt to use tanning beds, it’s important to know when you should see a dermatologist.”Really what we tell people is anytime they’re concerned about a lesion or something new on their skin. Rather it be something that’s changing or something that is brand new that they haven’t had it’s always safest to have someone look at it.”Wednesday night we will talk with a woman who suffered sun damage to her face and treated it with a laser. She’s now taking new precautions.And we’ll also look at some tanning alternatives.