Skin Cancer and Teens...Increased Risk - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Skin Cancer and Teens...Increased Risk

Elizabeth Tracy Elizabeth Tracy
Beth Perry, High Plains Dermatology Beth Perry, High Plains Dermatology

Skin cancer might not be a topic most teens talk about.

But with an increasing number heading to local tanning salons dermatologists say it should be.

The Texas Medical Association reports that more than half of 14 to 17 year olds say they have used tanning beds.

They also found that exposure to tanning beds before the age of 35 increased the risk of melanoma, the most dangerous kind of cancer, by 75%.

A local high school sophomore says she knows the risks of tanning and only tans in the spring and summer months. But she says her peers do not all think the same way about tanning.

Elizabeth Tracy says, "It's very popular some girls tan all year. I think a lot of us look up to celebrities and think oh, I wish I was dark like her, I wish I was tan it would just make me look so much better.

A local Dermatologist Physicians Assistant says a common mistake young people make is tanning to get a "base tan" to prevent from burning later in the summer.

Beth Perry of High Plains Dermatology says,"You're just going and injuring yourself so you don't get injured? It doesn't make sense. Just protect yourself from the beginning and use your sunscreen. That's all you need. There's no such thing as a base tan that's really just a cop out."

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