Tanning Teenagers

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

The increasing pressures of maintaining a good look are driving teenaged girls to the tanning beds in record numbers, and for those who tan on a regular basis, they don't see anything wrong with that.

"I think anything too excessive is going to be bad for you," said routine tanner Jessica Fleischman, "But if it's in moderation and it's something you want to do for yourself, that's fine."

And most doctors would agree with Fleischman that a little tanning does not pose a serious threat to a person's health.

However, Dr. Kevin O'Connell says the younger the person is, the higher risk they have for developing malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

"Children and adolescents who have more intermittent sun burns or intense tans are more likely to get malignant melanoma," said Dr. Kevin O'Connell, Wausau Family Practice

O'Connell says the intensity of the burn is the most important factor when considering the risk of skin cancer.

As far as those who worry they're not getting enough vitamin D from the sun during the winter, he says most people's daily errands have them outside for a long enough period of time, even during the coldest months of the year.

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