US Colleges Allow Tanning Facilities On Or Near Campus-HARD TO BELEIVE THIS IS STILL HAPPENING!

(NPR, NBC News, HealthDay, JAMA Dermatology 10/14)

ThinkstockPhotos-469768874Surprisingly half of the top 125 U.S. colleges and universities allow indoor tanning facilities either on campus or in nearby student housing. Also 14% of colleges allowed students to use “campus cash” to pay for exposure to ultraviolet rays of tanning beds. Interestingly enough when tanning booths were offered in off campus student housing they were free 96% of the time. The AAD points out that melanoma is the number one cancer in adults 25-29. The authors suggest that”in step with tobacco-free policies, tanning free places on college campuses may have high potential to reduce skin cancer risk in young adults”. THIS WOULD SEEM TO BE A ‘NO BRAINER’ MOVE FOR ALL CAMPUSES TO MAKE. STUDENTS ARE FREE TO CHOOSE WHAT THEY WISH TO DO, BUT WHY PUT SUCH A HARMFUL PRACTICE ON CAMPUS AND EVEN OFFER IT FOR FREE SOMETIMES. WE DONT TOLERATE TOBACCO OR ALCOHOL FACILITIES ON CAMPUS, SO WHY WOULD WE TOLERATE FACILITIES THAT PRODUCE SKIN CANCER?

NAIL SALON UV DRYERS CAN EMITCANCER CHANGES WITH AS FEW AS 8-24 VISITS!

(New York Times 5/1/14) The Journal JAMA Dermatology suggests that nail salon dryers, which use ultra violet light to speed the drying and hardening of gel nail polishes can emit varying levels of radiation that can lead to risky skin damage in as few as 8 visits to the salon. A random sampling of UV lamps at salons found huge variations in the amount of UV dangerous levels being emitted. In some salons, 8 visits could pose a danger, in others 24 visits and in some 625 visits before any danger manifested.Eventually, all these exposures resulted the point where the UV salon lights triggered cancer-causing DNA damage.

 
WE ALL LOVE THE EXTENDED WEAR THAT GEL NAILS CAN OFFER. CONSIDER THESE POINTS TO PROTECT YOURSELF-

 

* DO GEL NAILS ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS AND FOR VACATIONS.

 

*USE A “VINYLUX”GEL PRODUCT THAT DRIES WITH REGULAR SUN EXPOSURE AND LASTS LONGER THAN REGULAR POLISH FOR REGULAR WEAR. IF YOU WANT TO EXTEND ITSLIFE, APPLY A TOP COAT EVERY DAY OR EVERY SECOND DAY.

 
* APPLY A PHYSICAL (NOT CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN) BEFORE USING THE UV LIGHTS AND USE LEATHER GLOVES WITH THE FINGERTIPS CUT OFF, OR USE UV RATED GLOVES. MANY DOCTOR’S OFFICES SELL THESE, OR OCCASIONALLY SOME SALONS.

 

* SALONS CAN GET “LED” LIGHTS TO CURE THE GEL NAIL POLISH. THEY ARE EXPENSIVE BUT THEY ARE SAFE.

 

* INSIST ON MORE EXPENSIVE NAIL UV LIGHTS THAT HAVE TIMERS RATHER THAN CHEAPER ONES THAT THE TECHNICIANS JUST TURN ON AND LEAVE ON WITHOUT TIMING THEM.

 

* IT DOESN’T TAKE THAT MUCH MORE EFFORT TO BE SAFE AND ENJOY ATTRACTIVE COLORFUL NAILS!

MINNESOTA WARNS OF MELANOMA RISK AND GIRLS USING TANNING BEDS INCREASING THEIR CANCER RATE BY 59%

(AP 1/14/14) The Minnesota government, which conducts a student survey every three years, reports that more than one third of 11th grade girls reported using a tanning bed within the last year, and more than 50% said they tanned at least 10 times in the last 12 months. It is scientific knowledge that tanning beds deliver 10-15 times more UV radiation than natural sunlight and increase the risk of developing melanoma, “the deadliest form of skin cancer” by 59%!! Physicians in the area report seeing melanomas in 20 year olds and death from the disease as early as 30 years of age. AS EASY AND BENIGN AS IT SEEMS TO LET YOUR TEENAGERS GET A “PRETTY TAN” FOR PROM…THINK ABOUT THE DANGER THIS EXPOSES THEM TO AND WHAT IT TEACHES THEM. WE DON’T LET THEM DRINK, DO DRUGS AND DRIVE, GET SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES, SO MAYBE THINK ABOUT THE EXAMPLE THAT A DEADLY FORM OF CANCER PRESENTS FROM TANNING BEDS.

OVER A QUARTER OF HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS USE TANNING BEDS!

(US Center for Disease Control, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, 8/20/130)

 

JAMA Medical Journal reported 29% of female Caucasian high school students use tanning beds. AAD reported 32% of Caucasian women under the age of 30 visited tanning beds within a year, 8% visiting weekly. It is believed the tanning beds are playing a large role in the skyrocketing rates of skin cancer in recent decades, and dangerous melanoma cancers are raising sharply among young Caucasian women in particular. Researchers conclude that the high rate of indoor tanning in young people speaks to the need of increased education efforts to these young people to understand how to reduce their risk for skin cancer. More importantly, we need to encourage young women to embrace their natural, untanned skin colors.

 

NOT ENOUGH SAID! WE NEED TO BRING MEDIA AND ADVERTISING AIMED AT THESE YOUNG WOMEN IN LINE WITH SUPPORTING NATURAL COLOR AND NOT A TANNED LOOK AS THE DESIRED IMAGE. PREVENTING TEENS FROM ENGAGING IN HIGH RISK INDOOR TANNING BEGINS WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG AT HOME WITH THEIR FAMILIES ADVISING THEM, AND THEN REINFORCED IN THEIR SCHOOL HEALTH CLASSES. WHATEVER WE ARE DOING IS NOT ENOUGH AS THE STATISTICS SHOW. SOMEHOW WE NEED TO GET THESE CHILDREN EXPOSED TO BETTER EDUCATIONAL TOOLS TO AVOID THIS HARMFUL ACTIVITY.

Wear Sunscreen in the Office? Maybe?

How much time in the sun do you need to stay healthy?

Sunlight is beneficial. It gives us Vitamin D, prevents insomnia, and wards off depression. It also causes skin cancer, cataracts, age spots, and wrinkles. So find out how much of a good thing you really need!

 

Ultraviolet B light is strongest 11:00am to 4:00pm. It gives you sunburn, but doesn’t pass through glass or reflect off surfaces.

 

Ultraviolet A light is very tricky! It does not cause sunburn, but still causes aging, tanning, and skin cancer. It does not have peak hours, but is strong all day. It can reflect off of sand and water, and injure you while you are in the shade. It can pass through office windows and some car and airplane windows. Therefore, sunburn is not an adequate way to judge if you have been exposed to too much sun.

 

So how much sun exposure/radiation is safe?

There is no way of exactly predicting this, but the consensus is 10-15 minutes of midday sun, three times a week without a sunscreen is more than enough to maintain Vitamin D levels and still keep safe.

 

Again, it depends on your situation. If you suffer from skin cancer, is very fair, or battling hyperpigmentation you would err on the side of caution.

 

So, the answers to these questions are…

 

Do you need sunscreen?

  1.  Sitting in the shade…………for the most part yes! Remember the power of UVA Rays.
  2.  Taking a long car trip (cloudy or sunny day) ……the answer is yes, especially if your windows are not specially tinted for UVA/UVB protection.
  3.  Sitting directly in front of an office window all day….the answer is yes. Unless you are several feet away.
  4.  Remember mountain vacations expose you to up to 10% more sun damage and radiation because the air is thinner, even on cloudy days.
  5. Early morning or late evening exercises…yes, still apply sunscreen. Unless it is dark and pesky. UVA light is strong at 12:00 noon as it is at 6:00 pm.

So have fun in the sun- but just be smart about it.

RESEARCH CONFIRMS THAT SUNSCREEN CAN PREVENT MELANOMA

(J Clin Oncol. Posted online December 6, 2010) It may seem like captain obvious – but I hope this motivates patients to use proper sunscreen and reduce the melanoma cancer rate by a whopping 50%.

 

Researchers at the University of Queensland have reported the results of a study, which confirms that individuals who are diligent about regular sunscreen use are much less likely to develop melanoma. Researchers studied 1,600 Australian adults, beginning in 1992. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group received standard advice to use sunscreen, and the other group was given sunscreen along with detailed instructions and supervision for 4 years. A decade after the trial ended, only 11 of the supervised patients developed melanoma, as opposed to 22 who only received standard advice about sunscreen and protective clothing.

 

The researchers reported that, in addition to the 50 percent reduction of melanoma, the risk of invasive melanoma was reduced by 73 percent.

HAVE WORRISOME MOLES CHECKED BY YOUR DOCTOR AND IF THEY PERSIST SEE YOUR DERMATOLOGIST

Some Fourth-Year Medical Students Lack Proficiency in Detecting Melanomas

(Reuters 2/12) According to research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting, some fourth-year medical students are not particularly proficient when it comes to detecting melanomas. In a study in which students were presented with patients complaining about carpal tunnel syndrome and wearing simulated melanomas, investigators found that 56 students observed the lesion, but only 13 did note it in the patient’s records or even mentioned it to the patient. Because of this, the researchers suggested that medical schools redouble their efforts at helping medical students learn to identify melanomas while evaluating patients.

CAN A SUNTAN PROTECT YOU FROM SUN DAMAGE?

 Visiting a tanning salon for “base tan” will NOT protect your skin from DNA (cancer) injury.

(Pigment Cell Melanoma Research 02/2011) People with darker skin (such as African ancestry) tend to be much less susceptible to ultraviolet (sun) induced DNA damage (skin cancers) than those with lighter skin (such as Northern European ancestry). So many people have believed that tanning before full outside sun exposure can protect lighter skin against UV sun damage. Many individuals use tanning beds in a misguided effort to protect their skin from sun damage. Recent findings indicate that tanning beds, which use mostly UVA rays, do not afford any protection against subsequent DNA (cancer) damage. Therefore, you may get less sunburn by using a tanning bed before your vacation, but you have increased your chances of skin cancer. Better advice would be to buy a nice hat and some good sunscreen and use it!! Remember UVB may cause a burn, and the UVA in tanning beds may not, but it causes as much if, not more sun damage and future risk of cancer.

WIDESPREAD USE OF INDOOR TANNING BY ADULTS

Age is no guarantee of wisdom

(Archives of Dermatology 12/2010) More than 30 MILLION people use tanning beds in the U.S. each year despite the fact that the World Health Organization has designated tanning beds as cancer causing. Researchers have suggested that the increasing incidence of Melanoma and non-Melanoma skin cancers is due to the use of tanning beds, especially in young people.

 

More women than men used tanning beds, and women persisted using them into their 50′s, and men into their 40′s. Regular sunscreen use was inversely associated with the use of tanning beds among women but not men. People who used artificial tanners were also more likely to use tanning beds. Only 13.3% of women and 4.2% of men believed that avoiding tanning would reduce skin cancer. These surprising findings indicate that tanning bed use is still prevalent among adults. Fewer than 1 in 7 women and 1 in 19 men even believed that tanning beds could cause cancer!!

 

We must increase our efforts to inform adults and young people about the cancer risks of tanning beds and dispel the notion of their benefits (such as increasing Vitamin D, and providing a protective “base” tan- -please see DO TANS PROTECT?). WHY INCLUDE THIS BORING ARTICLE NOW??- BECAUSE LAST WEEK WE DIAGNOSED AN ADVANCED STAGE MELANOMA IN A YOUNG WOMAN WHO ISN’T EVEN 21 YRS OLD, AND WHO WAS ADDICTED TO TANNING BEDS. IF WE CAN PREVENT THIS IN EVEN ONE MORE PERSON, IT IS A BLESSING.

TOTAL SKIN EXAMINATIONS – NOT QUITE THERE

(American Journal of Medicine 05/2010) According to recent surveys, only about 13% of women and 16% of men received skin cancer screening

 

Total skin examination by a qualified physician represents a major opportunity – or one lost – to detect early skin cancer such as Melanoma. How often do you think most of us take advantage of this? This very large study of more than 10,000 people showed what is commonly suspected by Dermatologists. Patients are not getting Total Skin Exams and curable melanomas may be going undetected despite regular doctor visits!!

 

Only 13-16% of women and men had their skin examined despite reporting that well over 50% of them had breast, prostate, and rectal cancer screening. Interestingly men get more skin exams than women do; however, both numbers are frighteningly low!!

 

WE KNOW THIS FIRST HAND WHEN A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR PATIENT WAS RECENTLY DIAGNOSED WITH MELANOMA AT OUR OFFICE. SHE REPORTED IT HAD BEEN THERE TWO YEARS. THIS IS AN EASY, QUICK EXAM. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.