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For many in the south, this summer seemingly came to an inglorious end with the headlines of several Georgia counties returning to school … in July. Are you kidding me? Most of the remainder of the state would go back the first week of August. Again, are you kidding me? I remember that when I was a kid, school basically ended after Memorial Day and the new school year would start after Labor Day (who’s with me on this?) Is this some sort of dystopian nightmare in which the powers that be will go to any length to get kids out of the sun, including cutting an entire month off summer vacation! Jeezy Peezy, I hope not!
There was another item that popped up in the headlines. “Study Identifies Motivators for Indoor Tanning Despite Risk to Skin Health.” hcplive.com/view/motivators-indoor-tanning-risk-skin-health
In other words, why in the world would anybody want to use a sunbed? As I read the article, I was correct in my assumption. These “investigators” tried to get a handle on why folks continue hopping into a tanning bed considering the “potential for skin cancer and skin aging as well as eye inflammation.” I’ve certainly heard of the first two, but seldom a mention of eye inflammation being a leading indoor tanning risk. Did you know that between 2003-2012, researchers from another study identified 405 cases of non-fatal injury caused by indoor tanning and almost none required a hospital stay? That’s an average of 45 alleged injuries per year over that period, with 6% involving alleged eye issues. Think about the millions of indoor tanning sessions delivered to people each year at professional salons. You don’t need to be a math major to see that the potential risk for eye injury is very small, especially considering the fact that those salon professionals also have a non-negotiable policy requiring tanners to wear FDA compliant eye protection.
The aforementioned investigation centered around those motivators to tan indoors. Well, back to school again; you don’t have to be a scientist to know that indoor tanning is a “look good, feel good” business. Yep, aesthetic values were listed as the primary motivator. Do people feel that they look better with a tan? Well, yes – they do. Do they feel slimmer? Yes. Does it really make musculature look more prominent? Sure does.
What about the risks? What about skin aging? Well, as we age, our skin begins to lose tone, sag and wrinkle. It does this regardless of UV exposure. Alcohol consumption, stress, smoking cigarettes, environmental factors and more all assist in the aging process.
Life is full of risks. Walking outside and going to work can be a risk. But millions of people weigh the risks of UV exposure and choose to develop a cosmetic tan in a professional indoor tanning facility where UV sessions are delivered according to individual skin type and a precise timing system that minimizes the risk of burning and overexposure.
All the best for a great school year – if applicable.
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
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