Learn to Burn On an average day more than one million people invest their time and money in tanning salons (Indoor Tanning: All the Dangers of the Outdoor Sun). People do the same when it comes to smoking cigarettes, but they are aware of the effects it may have on them. Many people are unaware of the effect that tanning can have on their skin and their health. Today in America "learn to burn" is the image we are taught, or shown through advertising in the media. A supermodel may have a beautiful tan, but what is she really doing to her body. So with that I ask, is tanning really hazardous to your health? There are three types of ultraviolet rays that come from both the sun and indoor tanning devices.

All of these rays have been proven to be harmful to the body in some way. The first of the rays are UVA rays. UVA rays are long wave rays that tend to go deeper into the skin and cause premature wrinkling and skin cancer. Although it is less likely to cause sunburn, it does penetrate deeper into the skin weakening the inner connective tissue (Indoor Tanning). UVA rays are also able to pass through glass (AAD-Urges Public to Practice Sun Safety). UVB are the second type of ultraviolet rays.

UVB rays emit short wave rays that have a tendency to cause burning (Indoor Tanning). UVB rays are also said to depress the immune system, which is why most people feel tired and drained when they " ve been in the sun all day (Ultraviolet Rays). Unlike UVA rays, window glass does block UVB rays (AAD-Urges Public to Practice Sun Safety). Thirdly, UVC rays are the shortest and potentially the most dangerous wavelengths (Sun's Ultraviolet Light Can Damage Eyes).

We are least exposed to UVC rays because they are largely absorbed by the earth's atmosphere, therefore they are less of a threat than A or B (Sun's Ultraviolet Light Can Damage Eyes). The problem concerning UVC rays is that if the ozone layer is damaged, the danger of being exposed to these rays increases (Ultraviolet Rays). There are three types of skin cancer that may result from being exposed to all of the above UV rays. Squamous cell is one type of cancer that is treatable. This form of cancer occurs in the squamous cells which are the flat, scaly surface cells (Indoor Tanning). Basal cell is also a form of skin cancer that is treatable.

It can be found in the round cells (Introduction to Skin Cancer). Each year some 250, 000 American are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma (Kirchhmeimer, Sid). Cutaneous Melanoma or malignant melanoma is the third and most dangerous type of skin cancer developed from tanning (Introduction to Skin Cancer). Melanoma forms in the melanocytes, which give your skin color. Melanocytes are located on the top layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis (Introduction to Skin Cancer). Melanoma is considered most dangerous because it can spread or metastasize quickly through the lymph system or blood (Introduction to Skin Cancer).

To help detect this type of cancer, people are to follow the ABCD's of melanoma. A being asymmetry, B, border irregular, C color varied, and D, diameter varied (AAD-ABCDs of Melanoma Detection). If any of these changes occur in the skin, it's best to contact a physician immediately. Today, cancer doesn't seem to be the only negative affect tanning has on people.

It is also said that tanned skin is considered to be injured skin (The Sun and Your Skin). Premature aging is the most common side effect to overexposure from the sun or indoor tanning. UV light thins the skin making it less able to heal thus causing premature aging (Indoor Tanning). Skin that has been tanned is more likely to wrinkle and sag than skin that hasn't been tanned (Indoor Tanning). Allergic reactions are also another downfall when it comes to tanning. The most common is photodermatis, also known as sun poisoning (National Tanning Training Institute).

This is inflammation caused by overexposure to UV rays and results in bumps, hives, red blotches or even blisters on the skin (The Sun and Your Skin). If a person has never experienced an allergic reaction and suddenly breaks out, this might be due to photosensitivity. This is caused by a chemically induced alteration in the skin that makes a person more sensitive to light (National Tanning Training Institute). Items such as soaps, perfumes, or even medication can cause photosensitivity. The skin doesn't seem to be the only part of the body that can be damaged by the sun. Scientists have also discovered that UV rays can damage the retina, burn the cornea and change the structure of the lens causing cataracts (Indoor Tanning).

Cataracts are the leading cause of reduced vision in the United States and if left untreated can result in blindness (Sun's Ultraviolet Light Can Damage Eyes). People are also unaware that light reflected from sand, snow and pavement can produce a burn on the surface of the eye (Sun's Ultraviolet Light Can Damage Eyes). Although the burns are painful they are usually temporary. To help with this problem the FDA approved Acuvue UV blocking contact lenses that block 82 percent of UVA rays and 97 percent of UVB (Sun's Ultraviolet Light Can Damage Eyes). Most people are unaware or just ignore the safety tips that should be considered while in the sun.

Before going outside it is best to take a look at your local UV Index. This is a daily forecast of intensity of the sun's UV rays. It indicates the risk of overexposure to skin damaging UV radiation and can help plan outdoor activity (Skin). There are personal UV Index cards in the shape of a credit card that people can also carry. If one is unable to check either of the sources, it is best to minimize exposure from 10 a.

m. to 4 p. m. (Sun Exposure).

If it is a must that you are out during the sun's brightest hours, it's always best to use sunscreen. Children and adolescents are harmed more, so they should always have on sunscreen. The higher the sun protection factor, or SPF, the better protection the sunscreen offers. It also needs to be reapplied around every hour or after being in water. "Broad spectrum" sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays (The Sun and Your Skin). As for tanning indoors, the first thing one should do before entering a tanning bed is put on goggles.

Always make sure the goggles are properly cleaned to avoid catching pink eye or some other type of bacteria. When using the goggles, make sure they fit snug so you can decrease your exposure to the UV rays (Indoor Tanning). Just closing your eyes won't keep the rays out. The only advantage to using an indoor tanning device is that a person may limit their exposure time. Although the main purpose of indoor tanning is to gain a tan, it is always better to use sunscreen. Any other type of tanning lotions or oils could cause more serious burns.

The average fifteen to thirty minute time spent in a tanning bed is equal to a full day spent at the beach (Tanning Beds: Hotbed of Controversy). This is why it is recommended that no person use a tanning bed twice in one day. Indoor tanning revenues make in excess five billion dollars a year. Research has shown that a person's geographic region greatly influences the likelihood of using indoor tanning (AAD-Urges Teens to Heed Warning).

In Texas, California and Tennessee, legislative laws restrict the use of tanning equipment among minors (AAD- Urges Teens to Heed Warning). The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Dermatology have urged an action that would ban the sale and use of tanning equipment for non-medical purposes (The Darker Side of Tanning). The American Academy of Dermatology Association has made plans for advertising about the dangers of tanning to release this summer nationwide (AAD- Urges Teens to Heed Warning). I myself am an avid tanner. I tan outside in the summer and use indoor tanning in the winter. I have taken notice to many of the warnings, but still continue to tan.

While in the sun or tanning bed I do use precautions such as sunscreen, sunglasses and goggles in the tanning bed. I do believe tanning can cause premature aging because I have seen people who look like old leather gloves, but they also spend a much larger amount of time tanning. I find tanning no worse than begin subjected to second hand smoke. In some situations both are unavoidable. Works Cited " AAD- ABCDs of Melanoma Detection" web web "AAD- Urges Public to Practice Sun Safety" web web "AAD- Urges Teens to Heed Warning on Dangers of Tanning" web web "Broad Spectrum Ultraviolet Radiation from Sun, Artificial Light Sources Added to Government List of Known Carcinogens" web web "F. A.

Q." web web "Griffith, Winter H. , M. D. From Complete Guide to Sports Injuries Putnam Publishing Group" web web "Indoor Tanning" web web "Indoor Tanning: All the Dangers of the Outdoor Sun, Including Skin Cancer" web web " Introduction to Skin Cancer" web web "Kirchheimer, Sid Tanning: Cancer Cause on "Covered" Skin?" web web "National Tanning Training Institute" web web "Reid, Craig D.

, Ph. D. Chemical Photosensitivity: Another Reason to be Careful in the Sun" web web sun. html " Skin" web web "Sun Exposure" web "Sun's Ultraviolet Light Can Damage Eyes" web web 1016. htm " Tanning Beds: Hotbed of Controversy" web web "The Darker Side of Tanning" web web "The Sun and Your Skin" web web "Tropical Tan How Does Your Skin Tan" web web "Ultraviolet Rays" web web.