I’m sorry.. but are people still in doubt that the sun is a major carcinogen? Each day, I am surprised by how many people don’t live with safe sun practices. Most people have heard the message that the sun can cause skin cancer,… that sunscreen is important… and that suspicious moles should be checked.
But when I look around, especially in the summer months, I see tanned bodies and burnt faces galore (“American carnage”). Women’s chests covered in mottled redness (destined to turn into wrinkles in 1- years), men boasting bronzed faces so intense that you wonder if it’s real or faux, and older patients coming in asking for laser treatments to erase sunspots on their hands and legs. And to make matters worse, because there’s a difference between casual sun exposure and intentional, sun-seeking behaviors, we now turn to the problem of Tanning Beds. Really?
According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, young people continue to seek tanning beds in high numbers even though using a tanning bed just 1 time increases your risk of melanoma significantly.
But the biggest surprise of all is how young people still believe that a tan looks healthy. What can be done to fix this pervasive, deep perception in our society? Are we blaming Hollywood, California, Brexit, Trump?
Science tells us that when we take sun, changes occur in the brain that activate addiction pathways and result in endorphin release. Sun addiction, or even milder, feeling pleasure after getting prolonged sun, is a phenomenon that scientists have been able to explain. Great.
All the more of a reason to protect ourselves from this real, addictive process.