May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month

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Sunburns Common in Young Women Who Tan Indoors _20160114111026-159532

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LANSING – “According to the CDC, indoor tanning can cause skin cancer including melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer,” says Eden Wells, MD, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Indoor tanning is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of getting skin cancer. People need to protect their skin and limit their exposure to ultraviolet rays, whether from the sun or indoor tanning beds.”
MDHHS reminds all residents that:
  • Controlled tanning is not safe tanning
  • A base tan is not a safe tan.
  • Tanned skin is not healthy skin
A tan is how the body responds to injury from ultraviolet (UV) rays, showing that damage has been done.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Burning Truth awareness campaign sets the record straight on tanning and skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.
A 2013 study found that one in five high school females still engaged in indoor tanning and about one in ten girls used an indoor tanning bed 10 or more times during the year. Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 is associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma.
Protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. Avoid the sun during the middle of the day. Cover exposed skin, wear sunglasses and a hat and also use sunscreen appropriately to lower your risk for skin cancer. Avoid tanning beds and check your skin regularly and be sure to talk with your doctor if you notice any changes with your skin.
To read stories from young women about tanning and subsequent experiences with skin cancer including melanoma, visit http://www.skincancer.org/true-stories/teen-tanners. To learn what skin cancer and melanoma look like, visit http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer/galleries/skin-cancer-images.  For more information on lowering your risk for skin cancer, go to http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer/index.

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