No More Tanning Beds!
- Love Island star Liberty Poole, 22, is ditching tanning beds after she discovered a weird mole after using one.
- The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that over 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year, making it the most common cancer in the United States.
- Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen daily and avoiding tanning beds.
Speaking with The Sun, the Birmingham, England, native says she sought medical advice after she developed a mole from using tanning beds.Read More
She adds, “Now I don’t think it’s worth the risk and I use fake tan instead, it can be quite dangerous.”
Understanding Skin Cancer
Poole was smart to quit tanning beds in favor of protecting her skin.
The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that over 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year, making it the most common cancer in the United States. And even though people tend to focus on skin protection during the warm summer months, it’s important to remember that the risk of developing skin cancer is very much still there all year long.
“My patients ask me all the time, ‘Do I really need sunscreen every day, all year round?’ The answer is yes,” Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon at Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue, previously told SurvivorNet. “People think they only need sun protection when they’re in the bright, warm sunshine. But the reality is, we can get sun damage at any time throughout the year, even in the cold, wintry months. Think about when you go skiing. That’s a very high risk. Even though it’s cold, our skin should be protected.”
Additionally, it’s important to remember that skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body. It is more common for many skin cancers to occur on places that get more sun like the face, head, neck and arms, but skin cancers can even occur on places like on the bottoms of your feet, on your genitals and inside your mouth.
In a previous interview with SurvivorNet, Dermatologist Dr. Snehal Amin, the co-founder and surgical director of MDCS Dermatology: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, says skin cancer doesn’t require sun exposure.
“A lot of skin cancers occur in places that are not sun exposed,” Dr. Amin said. “A lot of skin cancers are actually genetically triggered. About a third of skin cancers occur in non-sun-exposed areas.”
He also says it’s important to consider the body in its entirety when looking for signs of skin cancer.
“It’s important to check the whole body, scalp, torso, legs, underwear area, everywhere,” he said. “It’s important to stand in front of a mirror, and hold a hand-held mirror, so you can check all the different parts of your body.”
Avoiding Tanning Beds & Protecting Your Skin
Protecting your skin by wearing sunscreen and getting skin checks is so important. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the U.S., and you can protect yourself and lower your skin cancer risk by taking prevention steps.
In an earlier interview, Dr. Engelman outlines five easy ways to protect your skin, and lower your skin cancer risk. This includes ditching tanning beds. She tells us:
- Avoid sun during peak hours. This means from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It doesn’t mean you should never go outside during the middle of the day, but make sure you’re protected when you do venture outdoors.
- Cover your skin and eyes. A wide brim hat and sun glasses will protect your face, the top of your head, your ears, and the delicate skin around your eyes.
- Wear an SPF of 30 or higher. Plenty of facial moisturizers have SPF built into them. Reapply often.
- Get an annual skin check. You can check your own skin for anything that looks out of the ordinary, but you should still get a yearly check to make sure you didn’t miss anything. If you do happen to notice anything out of the ordinary in between checks, schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor about it ASAP — it is always worth it to make sure.
- Avoid tanning beds. “There’s absolutely no benefit to going to a tanning bed,” Dr. Engelman says.
SurvivorNet reporter Abigail Seaberg contributed to this article.