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Most College Students Would Risk Getting Skin Cancer Just To Get A Tan

Update Date: Jan 11, 2017 08:40 AM EST
Most College Students Are Willing To Risk Getting Skin Cancer Just To Get A Tan
Most college students, especially in the Midwest, are willing to risk getting skin cancer just to get a tan appearance. (Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

For the past few years, there have been prevalent reminders about the dangers of long exposure to the sun. Most skincare experts recommend wearing sunscreen with at least an SPF of 50 whenever going out even when staying indoor.

These experts also advised avoiding sun tanning as it increases the risk for melanoma or any type of skin cancer. However, a recent study found that most college students would rather risk getting skin cancer just to get a tan.

The study conducted by researchers from Indiana University examined the data collected about the tanning habits of female college students in both Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses of Indiana University. A total of 629 female undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 18 and 23 answered a self-administered questionnaire about their tanning habits specifically their indoor tanning habits.

Previous studies have proven that the risk of melanoma increases by 25 percent for those who use indoor tanning beds. Women who used tanning beds before the age of 35 have an 87 percent chance of getting melanoma. This is because indoor tanning exposes the users to ultraviolet radiation that is known to promote premature skin aging and skin cancers.

According to the survey, a whopping 99.4 percent of the correspondents agreed that tanning, even indoor tanning, can cause premature skin aging and skin cancer. However, 69.1 percent would still rather get a tan at the risk of premature skin aging and skin cancer.

Around 78.7 percent of the college students disagreed that indoor tanning is safe or at least safer compared to outdoor tanning. Most of them get a tan because it makes them feel attractive and 83 percent feel relaxed and pleasant during tanning compared when they are not tanning.

The research, published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, notes that women who use indoor tanning or tanned indoor or used tanning devices were most likely influenced or exposed to people who also tan the same way themselves or find a tanned appearance attractive.

It also adds that most women believe that a tanned skin stimulates the healthy production of Vitamin D in the skin even at risk of getting skin cancer. The relaxed and pleasant feeling the women who tan experienced during tanning is actually a manifestation of their addiction to tanning.

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