The dangers of binge tanning and UV rays

dangers of binge tanning and UV rays

Skin cancer is on the rise

Skin cancer is on the increase, and the increase in the occurrence of malignant melanoma is the most worrying. Binge tanning is often implicated in increasing one's risk of this potentially fatal form of skin cancer, yet some people may be unaware of what binge tanning is and why it poses a risk to your skin health.

Summer sun burn

During the summer months people are more likely to take holidays. Some may head off to distant sunny beaches to soak up the sun, hoping to come home with that healthy summer glow, and others may set up loungers in the privacy of their garden to try and achieve the same effect. Spending hours soaking up the sun in the hopes of gaining a tan that will last until the end of the summer is binge tanning.

What is worse, some people will use other things in an effort to speed up the rate at which they tan, including smearing themselves with baby oil, Vaseline and even cooking oil. This leaves them completely unprotected from skin damage and sun burn which could result in skin cancer, and may in fact make them more vulnerable than tanning with nothing on the skin. The use of sun beds could also be considered binge tanning, and the intensity of the UV rays on these devices may be ten to fifteen times stronger than that of the mid afternoon sun.

The risks from these behaviors result in both immediate and long term damage. The immediate risk is that of the discomfort both pain and itching that sunburn can cause, as well as the undesirable appearance of the burn. Of course if the burn is severe enough, it can cause blistering and may even require hospital treatment to prevent shock, and overcome the fluid loss that burns can cause.

The risks from UV rays are even greater long term

Exposure to the sun damages the skin, causing it to age faster than skin that is protected from UV rays. This means that for the sake of that bronze glow in younger life you are risking looking old before your time, with leathery and wrinkled skin that has sun spots, thickened patches and areas of uneven tone-surely not a good thing for one who is concerned about their appearance. UV imaging can be used to show the extent of the damage that you have already suffered, and would give warning that if significant damage is already present that you need to much greater precautions in the future.

The biggest risk however is of skin cancer. Eighty percent of cases of malignant melanoma are caused by exposure to UV rays from sunlight and although survival rates after diagnosis are very high, deaths are completely preventable through simple measures such as not binge tanning and wearing high factor sun screens when you know you are going to be spending time out in the sun.

Cases of malignant melanoma are on the rise, with cases expected to double in the near future. The risk of a summer glow simply is not worth the risk of a potentially fatal disease, when fake tans and bronzers have improved so much. Look after your skin, and it will keep looking good for years to come.

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