Excessive tanning may be harmful to your health

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9 p.m. Extra: Tanning Warning

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It seems like everyone knows the dangers of lying out in the sun but lots of people do not seem to realize they face the same risks every time they get in the tanning bed.

Still some say danger alone will not keep them away. Kyla Chouinard says, "I started at the beginning of 7th grade when it really mattered if you were tan or not."

Fourteen-year-old Kyla is like a lot of teens her age who like lying out in the sun. She says, "Because all of my friends and everyone at school, we're all tan and I don't have a lot of pigment."

Kyla says she lays out four times a week, in addition to going to the tanning booth three times a week. She considers herself to be a tanning addict.

Dr. Gregory Allen, with Deseret Family Medicine, explains, "For anyone out there that is having to go to the tanning booth multiple times a week because they don't feel they're tan enough even though everyone else around them says, 'Wow, you're really tan,' then I think it might get to the point that you might be concerned of addiction."

Doctor Allen says tanning can be harmful to your health, especially when it comes to those tanning beds. He explains, " There's a less likely chance of getting melanoma from a tanning bed, but you have the risk of getting two of the other types of skin cancer which are basel cell or squamous cell carcinoma."

Kyla tells 3TV, "I think it will take them some time to realize that the sun is damaging. But I think people are still going to tan."

Dr. Allen believes a lot of teens still think tanning in a booth is much safer than being in the sun. "Some newer studies are showing that it only requires one sunburn to cause DNA genetic damage in the skin that then can later on produce skin cancer."

The doctor says that is why it is so important to educate our young people about what happens when you do not protect yourself. He admits, "We're all looking for a quick fix and unfortunately the quick fix we don't look at the long-term complications that come from sun tanning."

Some alternatives to getting that bronzed look without going to a tanning booth is a spray tan but you still need to take precautions. Dr. Allen warns, "You still need to be careful with the spray tan and put on sun block, just because you have a darker color to the skin, you still need to protect the skin you have."< /p>

When it comes to tanning outside, you should wear sun block. The doctor says it is important to get one with an SPF of 30 or more and contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Dr. Allen explains, " With a good sun block, good protection you're still able to get a nice softer tan without as much damage."

As for Kyla, while she still wants to get a tan, she feels better prepared. "I mostly wear sunscreen or oils that have at least some kind of sunscreen in them, so I don't fry or take chance of getting skin cancer."

The doctor says another way to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays is to stay indoors between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.