Year to stay out of the spotlight

Editor:

My New Year’s resolutions include remaining tan-free for 2012.

Editor:

My New Year’s resolutions include remaining tan-free for 2012.

Indoor tanning is still a popular choice these days, especially among high school students. Last year, I watched over half of my classmates use a tanning bed, and probably the majority – including me – purchase at least one spray tan to fit in.

I understand the pressures of wanting to be sun-kissed when the rest of your school is, but I now realize it is not beautiful or healthy. If the pressure hadn’t been there, I’d have never even considered tanning.

Many kids were tanning during holidays this winter and, before you know it, many of them will be tanning for prom or graduation.

I am a science student working to get into nursing. I encourage young people to think twice before going to a tanning salon. According to the World Health Organization, even occasional use of tanning beds before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – by 75 per cent. Along with tobacco, indoor tanning is a Class 1 carcinogen. UV damage is cumulative and permanent.

According to the Canadian Dermatology association, exposure to UV radiation causes 90 per cent of premature aging and wrinkles.

We are being misled. We are told tanning is OK and even good for us, that indoor tanning is a safe way to get vitamin D and that a “base tan” will protect us from getting a sunburn. All of these arguments have been disproven by experts.

Fact is, any change in skin colour, even a “healthy glow,” significantly raises our risk of skin cancer.

Savannah Bresnick, Surrey