The Dangers of Tanning

Frank Davis, Staff Writer

   Now that summer is quickly approaching, many students are getting ready to go to the beach and tan their problems away. But beware West High, think twice before you go out and get your summer tan. Wear plenty of sunblock this summer in order to protect you from UV rays as well as taking precautions to prevent sunburn. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence, or five sunburns total over the course of one’s life, more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.”

 So think twice before you pass on the sunblock. By using a good SPF 40 water resistant sunblock do you not only protect your skin, but you also protect your overall wellbeing. SPF, which stands for Sun Protection Factor, is a system used to measure the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Take for example a SPF 15 sunblock. This  will delay the onset of a sunburn in a person who would otherwise burn in 10 minutes to burn in 150 minutes, Thus allowing a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer.* Do not forget to protect your lips as well, by using a simple 5 SPF lip balm you protect your lips from bad burns. Whittany Horton (12) admits to loving long beach days and enjoys a good tan, “Tanning relaxes me, and it makes me feel good.”

 Jaime Partida (12) also agrees that, “Tanning makes you look better.” However, not many people take into consideration the safety hazard of excessive tanning.  Even though Melanoma cases make up less than 7% of all skin cancer cases, 75% of those cases ultimately result in death. “The death rate of Melanoma is scare. I and many others will start using sunblock more often,” Horton reassures.  This summer take consideration of your health, because everything you do now has consequences on your body years later.

*dermatology.about.com