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With more than two million people being diagnosed with skin cancer annually and one in five Americans developing skin cancer in their lifetime, Amy Forman Taub, MD, board-certified dermatologist, founder of Advanced Dermatology in Lincolnshire, IL, and assistant clinical professor at Northwestern University, is setting out to lower those numbers. She’s on a mission to educate the members of the public on the healthy habits of caring for their skin and educating them on how to reduce their risk of skin cancer. One big step forward? Stop tanning.
This year, Taub and her team at Advanced Dermatology are again asking the public to take a “no tanning pledge.” Advanced Dermatology will travel throughout Cook County to collect signatures. Their goal is to collect 10,000 pledges from people making the promise that they won’t tan.
Why? Indoor tanning is associated with melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, damage to eyes and symptoms of premature skin aging, such as wrinkles and sun spots.
She will also travel to area high schools and aim her message at teens who are still visiting tanning salons at alarming rates—2.3 million teens visit them at least once a year. And although a teen’s skin is more susceptible to damage from harmful UV rays, 80% of people 25 and younger said that they think they look better with a tan, according to a survey by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
The price of getting a little tan is high, research shows. In a 2010 study, people who tanned indoors had a 74% increased risk of melanoma compared to those who never tan indoors. And occasional visits can be harmful, too: The risk of melanoma increases by 11% with just four visits per year.
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