[This is post three of five of our Skin Cancer series, be sure to check out our first post and stay tuned for more to come.]
- While the tanning-bed industry argues that getting a base tan helps prevent a subsequent sunburn, it’s just not so. Sunburns are a bad thing, but so is the ultraviolet exposure of the tanning bed. Pre-tanning accomplishes nothing except harm. The tanning industry also encourages use of tanning beds to improve consumers’ vitamin D levels, as sun exposure helps the body produce this important vitamin. Most people get a sufficient dosage of vitamin D through everyday sun exposure like getting in and out of cars, or from foods and nutritional supplements. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies tanning beds in the highest cancer risk category that exists, describing the beds as “carcinogenic to humans.”
- Some consumers apply more sunscreen than usual on especially hot days, but high temperatures don’t increase harmful sun exposure. You can encourage clients to think light, not heat. People also skip the sun protection when it’s cloudy outside, but harmful rays can also penetrate clouds. It’s easy to be a bit stingy with the sunscreen and this increases risk. A golf-ball sized glop of product should be applied 20 minutes before going outside so protective agents have time to activate. Make sure your clients understand they need to reapply sunscreen frequently, especially after being in the water or sweating.