• Cancer

    People Connect Being Tan With Being Healthy — The Opposite is True

Inside tanning bed with blue lightsThere's been widespread concern  about the rising incidence of melanoma, which affects 75,000 Americans annually and results in nearly 9,000 deaths.

Melanoma mole

Researchers speculate the uptick may be connected to the popularization of tanning beds, and some states are even considering legislation that would prohibit minors from going to tanning facilities.

Mayo Clinic dermatologist Jerry Brewer, M.D., says, “There’s been a cultural trend for many decades in which people connect being tan with being fit and even successful.” The opposite is true. Dr. Brewer gives four ways to improve your chances of preventing skin cancer:

1. Avoid the use of tanning beds
2. Use sunscreen
3. Be familiar with your skin by performing frequent skin-self examinations
4. Check in with your dermatologist annually

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Brewer regarding his recent melanoma study are available in the downloads.

Alyson Gonzalez, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu