With spring break in just a few weeks you may be considering hitting the tanning beds, however, you need to think twice before doing so! As many as 90% of all melanomas are caused by ultraviolet exposure with tanning beds fitting into the highest cancer risk category. Research shows that using a tanning bed before age 30 will increase your risk for skin cancer by 75%. Melanoma is a leading cause of death in young adults despite being highly preventable.

Despite these scary statistics more than 1 million people visit a tanning salon every day in the United States with over 3,000 emergency room visits each year due to indoor tanning bed exposure. For many tanning is actually addictive because the UV lights cause the release of endorphins which can ultimately lead to dependency.

Natural tanning is not much better because tanned skin is the result of damage to the skin cells. While we all like to be tan it is important to take everything into consideration. Sun damaged skin accelerates the aging process and will leave you wrinkled and crepey. Always make certain to apply a minimum of 30 SPF when you are outdoors. If you cannot live without a tan you may want to consider topical sunless tanning products.