Melanoma Awareness

Melanoma – Realising the Risks of Tanning

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 08/10/13

We all want to look more attractive and a lovely bronze tan certainly contributes to this. Tanning, however, may have very serious consequences including melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. This condition is treatable when detected in the early stages of development. However, it may be lethal if it affects a larger part of the skin and vital organs such as the liver and the brain. That is why it is crucial to understand the dangers and to take adequate preventive measures.

Melanoma and Frequent Outdoor Tanning

Our habits change with fashion and often this is not healthy. At present, darker skin tone is considered sexier. That is why many people that have fair complexion and that are generally at greater risk of skin cancer resort to tanning. It has been estimated that the majority of women and a large number of man go sunbathing outdoors for long hours for the purpose of getting a bronze skin tone.

More frequent exposure to the UV radiation of the sun and more frequent sun burns increase your risk of melanoma. An interesting thing to note is that it does not matter during which stage of your life you are exposed to the sun the most. Teens and young people who are frequently exposed to the sun are much more likely to develop some of the more serious types of melanoma when they reach old age. Similarly, young children that play under the sun are at greater risk of skin cancer in the later stages of their life.

Melanoma Caused By Tanning Beds

It has been found that people who tan indoors are 75 per cent more likely to develop this type of skin cancer compared to those who do not. The danger of using tanning beds is great, but unfortunately many young people choose to ignore it despite being well informed about it. Medical professionals, non-governmental organisations and educators try to raise awareness and to convince the young generation to avoid indoor tanning, but it seems that their efforts are not sufficient.

It is hoped that New Zealand will follow the example already set by other countries and ban tanning parlours. It is not clear when this will happen and whether the ban will be general or just for certain parts of the country. It is possible for the authorities to legally ban indoor tanning only for individuals under the age of 18.

Irrespective of the measures taken by the authorities, it is your responsibility to adopt each and every effective measure for melanoma prevention including the avoidance of tanning.