It might seem strange for Orlando Cosmetic Surgery to be reporting about skin cancer and sunscreen use, since we just finished the last official week-end of the summer. The truth of the matter is, we have plenty of Orlando sunshine ahead, and even in the Fall, your skin is still at risk from UV rays outdoors.

We officially must repeat that you should wear your sunscreen all day, every day. (Yes, this means you should wear it even if you are only walking in and out of your office building three times per day.)

Remember, your skin is in danger from UV rays, even on a cloudy, overcast, Florida Fall Day! Find complete instructions for sunscreen use and at this informative online resource.

The Indoor Threat:  Tanning Beds And Melanoma!

Likewise, Orlando Cosmetic Surgery is concerned about the amount of “indoor tanning” that is still very popular. As people begin to see the coveted bronze color of a summer suntan fade, they start trying to maintain it with trips into the tanning salons where booths and beds dispense the same harmful rays as the sun.

Recently we were saddened to read a dismaying new article in Plastic Surgery Practice, which noted that the youth of America were not taking sunscreen or melanoma seriously.

The scientists stated, “Despite full-on public service campaigns educating youth about the dangers of tanning and the importance of sun protection, the percentage of young people who reported wearing sunscreen declined from 67.7% in 2001 to 56.1% in 2011.”

A Short Tanning Salon Story:  Mini-Case Study

Scenario: Jena is 15 and a half years old, and she is sulking. She has slammed her bedroom door, and flopped on her bed, and she is certain her social life is over. It seems her mom, Linda, has forbidden Jena to accompany her friends to the tanning salon. Linda, taps on the door and says, “Jena, it’s not about the money, you know, it’s about your safety.”

Linda is a very smart parent. She is aware of some alarming statistics that link melanoma and tanning bed usage. (For more about melanoma, we hope you will visit a previous Orlando Cosmetic Surgery article.) Linda might be saving her daughter untold agonies, disfigurement, even her life. By the way, Linda also avoids the tanning salons.

Risky Business:  The Tanning Bed

The CDC has stated unequivocally, “Indoor tanning is not safe. Using a tanning bed, booth, or sun lamp to get tan…can cause skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.”

Another recent 2014 study by Wehner and colleagues  estimated that more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer may be related to indoor tanning in the United States each year—causing 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas, and 6,000 melanomas.

These numbers are daunting, and they certainly prove why Orlando Cosmetic Surgery strongly advises you avoid the risk of indoor tanning, at any age.

More research was recently very recently published by Corey H. Basch, EdD, MPH, an associate professor of public health at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.

He and his colleagues found “no great decline in the use of tanning devices among adolescents. In addition, females were more likely to use indoor tanning devices (20.9% for females vs. 6.16% for males), and the use of such devices was highest among white females (29.3%), the study showed.”

You can read more about this study at this convenient source.

We can only hope that in the future, perhaps by the time Jena from the little fictional story above, has a daughter of her own, people will have learned to appreciate their natural skin-tone, and protect their skin both by using sunscreen out doors and by avoiding indoor tanning.

Orlando Cosmetic Surgery hopes people will see a suntan for what it is: sun damage. In addition to the risk of melanoma, a suntan can lead to premature aging.

This July, the CDC announced an official vow to continue its outreach of public information. In summary:

1. The CDC will continue research on indoor tanning behaviors.

2. They will also develop more messaging “alerting the public about the dangers associated with indoor tanning.”

3. They plan to support increased enforcement of existing regulations on indoor tanning;

4. They are devising better “warning labels on indoor tanning devices.”

5. They will continue the campaign for people to wear protective clothing and sunscreen when they are out-of-doors.

You can read another page of the CDC’s intentions in this regard at this informative site.

The CDC, the American Cancer Society, and Orlando Cosmetic Surgery are committed to education to help you and the next generation defeat the UV related risks of melanoma and other skin cancers.

Thank you for reading the Orlando Cosmetic Surgery Blog. We totally understand why you might be putting away your summer outfits in exchange for  the jewel tones of Fall, but we strongly advise you to keep your sunscreen on your dressing table, in your purse, or in your pocket!