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Natural Awakenings

Just Say No to Indoor Tanning: Melanoma Incidents are on the Rise

Jul 29, 2011 11:54AM

Despite repeated warnings from dermatologists about the health dangers of tanning, results of a new survey by the American Academy of Dermatology confirm that a large percentage of Caucasian teen girls and young women admitted using tanning beds or intentionally tanning outdoors during the past year.

Thirty-two percent of respondents had used a tanning bed in the past year—one-fourth of them at least weekly, on average. An overwhelming majority (81 percent) of all respondents reported that they had tanned outdoors either frequently or occasionally during the past year.

“Our survey underscores the importance of educating young women about the very real risks of tanning, as melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—is increasing faster in females 15 to 29 years old than in males of the same age group,” says dermatologist Dr. Ronald L. Moy, president of the academy. “Most young women with melanoma are developing it on their torso, which may be the result of high-risk tanning behaviors such as indoor tanning. In my practice, I have had patients—young women with a history of using tanning beds—that have died from melanoma.”

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