"Melanoma is the most common cancer in women ages 25 to 29 and the second-most common cancer in women ages 15 to 29," says Dr. Shainhouse. "I've treated patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s for basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer, and melanoma. Most have admitted to tanning in salons and lying out at the beach and getting sunburns when they were younger."
People know tanning beds are bad, but don't take the threat seriously enough
Right now, a lot of people still subscribe to the belief that a tan is a good thing and a sign of health. We're long overdue for a paradigm shift, Dr. Lee says.
"Just as we knew tobacco smoke has carcinogens, we know UV light causes mutations in the DNA, but it takes a while to get past cultural acceptance of things like laying out in the sun or going to tanning beds," she says. "We walk in the sun all the time, so it's hard to get that concept."
So, next time you're walking around at high noon, you have Dr. Lee's implicit permission to run around screaming, "IT BURNS!!!" #bethechange