January is the traditional time of year when many of us make New Year’s resolutions…
In this two-part series provided by Price SkinCare Clinic of Ridgeland, Mississippi, we cover tanning bed dangers and what you should do if you’ve ever used one. Click here to read Part I: ‘Seven Reasons Why Tanning Beds Are Not Your Friends’.
If you have used tanning beds, are using them, or are planning to use them what should you do to protect yourself from tanning bed dangers?
Here are four things you need to address immediately.
1. Stop using tanning beds and never use them again. Never!
If you have a tanning session booked, cancel it. If you’ve pre-purchased sessions, don’t go back. If you’ve joined a tanning salon club, cancel your membership. Your life depends on it.
2. Have a full-body skin examination by a qualified skin doctor to ensure you don’t have any early warning signs of skin cancer.
If you’ve put yourself at risk for melanoma and other skin cancers by tanning, you should see a skin doctor to have a complete skin examination. Follow your doctor’s advice and if recommended, get an annual skin check.
Just because you stop tanning doesn’t mean you are not longer at risk for skin cancer. Skin cancer can occur years later after DNA damage so it’s important to continue monitoring your skin.
3. Seek help for addictive behavior if you find yourself depressed about stopping your tanning habits.
If you feel a pervasive sadness about giving up the practice of tanning, seek professional help. You may be suffering from tanning addiction. And like most addictions, it can be difficult to stop without help.
4. Learn to love the natural color of your skin.
It seems that it’s not enough to warn people of the dangers of tanning. That’s because the underlying issue is the perception that natural skin color should be modified to be beautiful. And some will do anything to achieve beauty – even put their health at risk.
National organizations are countering this flawed mentality with public awareness campaigns.
• The Skin Cancer Foundation promote their ’Go With Your Own Glow’ PSA campaign, encouraging women to ‘embrace and protect their natural skin tone.’
• The Melanoma Research Foundation (MF) encourages people to ‘people to embrace and value the skin in which they were born.’
If you struggle with feelings of self-loathing or inferiority due to your skin tone, change your role models to successful people who don’t feel the need to darken their skin tone. Read books about self-acceptance and developing a healthy body image. And if you need to, seek professional help.
Because you should always feel comfortable in your own skin.