Readers’ Forum: Long-term effects of tanning beds

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When someone has gone through trauma in their life, they have things that trigger those feelings again. For me, my trauma comes from my dad passing away when I was 11. I can still remember the feeling of seeing my mom get the call on September 26, 2016. Seeing her collapse to the floor when she heard the news… your husband is gone. Someone we so deeply loved was just gone. My dad lost the battle to skin cancer. Something that is so serious can happen because of something so small, tanning beds. We need to stop going to tanning beds because it increases the risk of skin cancer, and makes you age quicker. I have experienced this in my own life through my family and we should do what we can to prevent these issues.

Tanning beds have so many risks ranging from premature aging to dying of skin cancer. I have experienced the loss of a loved one due to skin cancer and it is very traumatic. There are more people that develop skin cancer from tanning beds than people that develop lung cancer from smoking. Skin cancer may start as something not super serious but can turn into something very scary. We shouldn’t put ourselves more at risk of skin cancer when there are ways to prevent it. Like, not going to tanning beds. My dad went only a couple of times to the tanning beds, and it cost him his life. A few years after my dad passed away, a spot of skin cancer was found on my mom’s arm. The trauma from losing my dad and then finding out my mom has the same thing my dad died from is indescribable. She went to the tanning beds for 2 months in college and ended up with a spot of skin cancer.

Tanning beds can also cause premature aging. Both my mom and my aunt went to tanning beds when they were in college. They now both have a lot of sunspots, and it has made them age quicker. This risk is not as serious as skin cancer but still a risk to consider and think about.

Some people may be thinking, “It’s winter and I want to be tan so that I can be happy.” We shouldn’t let the desire to be tan put us at risk for something so serious down the line. We already expose ourselves to harmful rays during the summer that we shouldn’t expose ourselves to unnecessary rays during winter. There are other ways to be tan that do not come with these serious risks and are safer. Some options are self-tanning and spray tans. When we go to a professional for a spray tan, it can look great. When we find an excellent quality self-tanner and apply it correctly, we can get a tan that looks good.

So, we should stop going to tanning beds and think about the risks before we go. There are some serious risks, and we really need to consider them. We shouldn’t sacrifice our long-term health to be happy now. When we steer clear of tanning beds, we lessen the risk for developing skin cancer and we won’t age as fast. We should do everything we can to protect our bodies and really think about the risks of what we are doing.

Paige Harris

Orem, Utah

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