Tans Turn Towards Terminating

Maddie Knight('18) and Taylor Hackett('18) showing off their tans  for a dance.

Photo by: Megan Loomis

Maddie Knight('18) and Taylor Hackett('18) showing off their tans for a dance. "It did not last as long as I thought" said Taylor Hakett ('18).

Megan Loomis

Prom is coming and most like to have a perfect tan that makes them look great. But is the perfect tan worth it? Some could end up with cancer or no issues at all.

Students are taught about the harms of tanning in middle school, but are the dangers all true? Do people persuade you to use their product and lie about the effects? Some girls want that sun-kissed glow all the time and others not at all. The effects of self-tanners, indoor tanners, and the sun are different. Which one is the best to use, and what are the effects to them?

“Self-tanners contain the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that

darkens the skin. The only such agent approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)” Dermatologist, Dr. Palm, said.

According to Skin Cancer Foundation, commercial preparations typically contain between 3 and 5 percent DHA, a sugar molecule that bronzes the very top layer of the skin. The browning effect occurs within a few hours. The effect is temporary, the color fades in 7-10 days as the skin naturally sloughs off.

“I used Jergen’s glow last year before prom to make me look less ghost-like, so I think tanners are fine to use; it is really when begin looking orange that it may be time to tone it down a bit” said Olivia Clark (’17).

You can get these tanners in lotions, creams, and sprays. The self-tanning spray concerns relate to the risk of inhalation and ingestion, but no there is no clear evidence to harm to humans.

More and more people are using indoor tanners. Approximately 7.8 million adult women and 1.9 million adult men in the United States tan indoors according to The United States Department of Health and Human Services.

“I used a gradual tanning moisturizer in the winter, I am a naturally pale girl and the tan makes me feel better,” said Charlie Lucus (’18).

The World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel have declared ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, are known for carcinogen, a cancer-causing substance. Also using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent. The risk increases with each use. Even if you have only used an indoor tanner once developing squamous cell carcinoma increases by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent.

“If someone does a light tan it is okay, but if they get a dark tan, it is pretty obvious and just looks down right stupid, and to me it is pretty comical.” Said Zach Barnard (’19) “I would never use them, unless I ever decide to be a body builder.”

The sun’s damage can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, eye damage, and skin cancer. When you are sunburnt, it is from and overexposure to the sun which also causes skin cancer.

According to Sutter Health Hospital, the sun produces two kinds of rays, UVA and UVB. UVB rays are around all year and UVA rays are mostly present only during the summer. UVA rays are regarded as “safer” and even though they cause the skin to age, while UVB rays cause the skin to burn. However, both of these types of rays are harmful and dangerous in large quantities.

“Every person I have seen with a fake tan looks really artificial, I think natural tans look better,” said Ashely Cain (’20)

Cosmopolitan magazine states that the best ways to get a good tan is to use the correct amount of sunscreen, limit your amount of time in the sun, never use a tanning bed, and eat healthy foods.