This Approach Could Prevent Thousands of Melanoma Cases

This Approach Could Prevent Thousands of Melanoma Cases

 

This Approach Could Prevent Melanoma Cases in Nashville

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of indoor tanning - in fact, I take every opportunity to encourage my Nashville patients to consider alternative options. The reason is simple: with all the harmful rays indoor tanning exposes your skin to, there’s no good that can come out of it. Research has shown that sunless tanning is linked to addictive behavior, skin damage and melanoma.

However, it’s been tough going for me and other Nashville dermatologists to persuade our patients to wean off their dependence on indoor tanning. That’s why when I read a recent article detailing a solution that might just be a step in the right direction, I was all for it. The big idea? An age restriction.

A recent study published Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that if we restricted indoor tanning for minors younger than 18 years, we could prevent 68,839 melanoma cases (4.9% reduction), 6,735 melanoma deaths (4.7% reduction) compared with no age restriction at all. That means we would gain 142,659 life years and more than $342 million in melanoma treatment cost-savings.

Numbers don’t lie - and these numbers, in particular, are astonishing. I quite like this concept, because it takes a different approach to looking at the effect that tanning has on the development of melanoma. While I frequently encourage my Nashville patients not to tan at the beach or in a tanning bed because of the risk of melanoma, I know it can be hard for people to accept this. The thought of death feels foreign to most of us - and especially teenagers. This study shows the hard facts: so many lives would be saved even if we just curbed what age people could begin indoor tanning.

Until then, I encourage you to be mindful of sun protection you use for your skin in Nashville. Here are my top recommendations:

When outdoors in direct sunlight for extended periods

Protect your face daily with these products

If you’re concerned about your melanoma risk due to indoor tanning, we recommend a skin cancer screening. This May for Melanoma month, Skin Solutions Dermatology is proud to partner with the American Academy of Dermatology to offer free SPOTme Skin Cancer Screenings at various locations for the month of May. Screenings are available at our Smyrna, Hendersonville, Pulaski, and Franklin locations!

Please call these locations to schedule your free SPOTme Skin Cancer Screening. It is important to remember that only 2 to 4 screenings are offered a day, and only with select providers on select days. Since availability is limited, please call us soon!

If you’d like to book an appointment with a dermatologist, feel free to visit any of our Skin Solutions Dermatology branches in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Related Buzz: Indoor Tanning Strongly Linked to Skin Cancer, Tanning “Addiction” Could Trigger Risky Behaviors, Learn How to Spot the Warning Signs of Melanoma

 

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD