With temperatures heating up and prom season underway, parents you may want to think twice before taking your teen to the tanning salon. Health experts estimate nearly 2 million teens use tanning devices each year, putting them at serious risk for developing skin cancer at an early age.
The World Health Organization estimates more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017, affecting millions of people, including teenagers.
In an effort to help protect all minors under the age of 18, Roswell Park is pushing to amend the current federal tanning regulation that prohibits teens under 16 from using indoor tanning facilities. Under a new bill, if passed, the age would be raised to 18-years-old.
Dr. Illene Rothman, Interim Chair of Dermatology at Roswell Park and Chief of Pediatric Dermatology at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo says, "given how dangerous they are, for everyone, tanning beds need to be banned all together. But to start, we need to protect those we can protect."
The push to include 17-year-olds in this proposed bill is just another step in saving more lives, Dr. Rothman explains.
With approximately 75% of skin cancer deaths resulting from melanoma, these are some letters to keep in mind if you are concerned you could be at risk: A, B, C, D, & E.
"A" for asymmetry, "B" for boarders, ""C for multi-colored, "D" for diameter, and "E" for evolution. If you see any irregularities in these categories, experts recommend you call your doctor.