As spring break approaches, whether you plan to spend your time off in a tropical paradise or at home watching hours of MTV’s Spring Break specials, you may find yourself among the many young people flocking to your nearest tanning salon to achieve that sun-kissed glow. “Busy session comes now,” explains junior Nicole Cooney, who has been working at Tropical Rendezvous Tanning Salon for over a year. And then, there is kind of a lull in the summer, and right after that comes the midwinter people, who were the same ones tanning before, who come in because they always think they’re losing their tan. ” At Tropical Rendezvous, the employees follow a system where they can turn away customers who tan too frequently. “It kind of gets addicting to the feeling of the warmth and the bed,” she said. “People can try and come in a lot, but we have the computers set up so you can’t tan unless it has been a full 24 hours.
That’s one of the worst things you can do, overexposing yourself to the tanning beds like that. ” There are people out there, however, who just enjoy lying for 10 minutes in a tanning bed. “I go tanning, because it’s a good way to relax and I usually only go once or twice a week because I don’t want to turn orange,” said Amanda Falcon, a junior at the University. “It’s also really good in the winter months, because I tend to get very stressed out and it calms me down. “
Even though it may help de-stress, the physical effects of tanning beds in the end, are much more harmful. “The tan is a response to injury,” said Dr. Ted Daly, M. D. of Garden City Dermatology. “You’re kind of injuring the skin with the light, and it makes it darker on that area. ” This concept not only applies the rays emitted from the bulbs in tanning beds, but you can also damage your skin just as badly if with natural sunlight if you lie out on the beach for too long, regardless of the “base coat” one may try to get before they leave for break. In my public speaking class, I did a persuasive speech on why you shouldn’t go tanning and the research that I found said that base tans don’t actually work, and you can still get burned,” stated junior Sarah Lackner. “So that’s why I don’t do it. ” Dr. Daly backs up Lackner’s research, noting that a base tan is essentially just more ultraviolet exposure, which only adds to the trouble. “My problem is I see between the ages of 25 and 29, the number one cancer period is melanoma in girls, particularly on the legs,” Lackner said. It’s a problem. It keeps on increasing about 5 percent a year. I see younger and younger kids come in with other skin cancers. ” He feels there are other means of gaining that bronzed glow. “You can get the same tan using other artificial tans, other spray-on tans without the risk of skin cancer. ” Whether you’re hitting the beach on Punta Cana or faking that back-from-vacation look by using a tanning bed, beware of the consequences and lather on the sunscreen.