It's Time For Prom... How About A Tan?

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By: Hailey Brandon

It's Time For Prom... How About A Tan?

Once those bulbs turn on and the fan above you starts to spin, there is no going back. The only thing going through your mind is what you read on those warning signs while you got undressed. It's just you and the timer counting down the minutes. You stand there and start to wonder… is this really worth it?
 
Health Canada does not ever recommend using tanning equipment because “there is no safe way to tan.” Tanning increases your risk of developing melanoma by 59% if the age of first exposure is below the age of 35. Tanning salons are required to put up warnings for eye damage and being a potential cause of skin cancer. It is questionable why all of these young girls continue to use indoor tanning beds when they know it could potentially be taking years off of their lives. 
 
It is against the law for tanning salons to provide service for anyone under the age of 18, but does this stop them? Prom season is coming up and there are huge flocks of teenage girls rushing to the tanning salon to build up their bronze before the big day. Some of those girls are months away from being the legal age to use a tanning bed.  One of the reasons I believe teenagers continue to use tanning beds is because they have the “bad things never happen to young people” mindset. They see all of this information and subconsciously disregard it. All of those percentages and warnings they see mean nothing to them because when they see 59%, they automatically put themselves into that other 31%. 

Prom Queen Or Prom-Zilla?

Tanning beds never really used to be a big thing around prom season. If someone wanted to be a little darker, they would just get a spray tan. Nowadays, beauty standards have risen and changed. Spray tans are now considered “trashy” and being orange would turn the “prom queen” into a “prom-zilla”.
 
Tanning beds are now considered “carcinogenic to humans”. This means that tanning beds are a known potential cause of skin cancer, one of the most common types in Canada according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Melanoma skin cancer occurs when there are changes to the melanocytes (moles, bumps or spots on the skin). Melanocytes cause melanin (what gives your skin it's colour) and when that groups together it is what causes the moles. A change in the colour, shape or size of the mole can be an early sign of skin cancer. 
When skin cancer is found and treated early, you have a better chance of successful treatment. Here is a list of things from the Canadian Cancer Society to look for that can also be an early sign of skin cancer.. 
  • A sore that doesn’t heal or comes back after healing
  • A mole or sore that oozes, bleeds or is crusty
  • A change in the colour, size or shape of a mole or birthmark
  • A growth or area that is itchy, irritated or sore
  • Rough or scaly red patches
  • Small, smooth and shiny lumps that are pearly white, pink or red
  • Pale white or yellow flat areas that look like scars
  • Raised lumps that indent in the center

Click Here For More Information On Melanoma. 

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