Tanning: Positive or Negative

Tanning: Positive or Negative

Tanning is a dangerous activity and though many people know why, they continue to partake in the activity. Tanning is dangerous because it requires the body to receive an overexposed amount of ultra violet radiation (Addicted to the Tan. ) Even though tanning has faded in and out throughout the years, tanning is a popular activity among this generation. The effects of tanning are not only harmful, they are deadly as well. Most people think if tanning as an activity that only occurs during the summertime or at the beach. But Trisha Paytas, a model working in Los Angeles, feels hat she needs a tan to be comfortable in her own skin.

Trisha has not missed a day of tanning in over ten years, which means that her skin is at an extremely high risk for damage. After she is finished tanning, Trisha gets a spray tan to make sure her skin tones are blended evenly all over her body. Trisha states that, “If you told me that I have skin cancer, I don’t think I would stop; scrape it off and keep going. ” Trisha Paytas is completely aware that she is putting her body at risk by tanning, but she refuses to stop (Extreme Tanner Says Skin Cancer Wouldn’t Stop Her).

People believe that being tan is a type of protection from receiving sunburn or other skin damage, although this is entirely untrue. Tanning actually increases the risk of developing skin cancer no matter how much Skin Protection Factor (SPF) is put onto the body for protection. A suntan, or skin exposed to ultra violet radiation, is an increase in skin pigment called melanin. Melanin is used as a pigment to color hair, eyes and skin. This increase causes the skin to become tan, which is a sign of damage to the skin.

This increase in ultra violet radiation and melanin causes the skin to arken within forty eight hours (Radiation Emitting Products. ) “A 2005 study showed that ninety-two percent of people knew the sun was dangerous but sixty-two percent of them still loved to tan. Over thirty million Americans visit tanning salons, as much as one million a day’ (Addicted to the Tan. ) These statistics prove that people know tanning is dangerous, but do people really know the harm they are causing their body? When skin is exposed to the sun, a tan occurs.

The tan that has Just happened is now a burn. Sunburn occurs when skin cells in the epidermis are damaged and lood flow increases to reach those damaged areas (Radiation Emitting Products). The blood flow gives skin the red color and makes it warm to touch. When blood flows though the body to the damaged skin areas, white blood cells attack and remove the damaged skin. Sunburn, otherwise known as erythema, is a major sign of overexposure of ultra violet radiation. Getting a sunburn shows a type of skin damage that is not only painful to feel, but harmful to the body as well.

This skin damage is called short-term because peeling occurs but actually the damage never truly goes away even if the burn fades. The bottom line is that there is a link between a sunburn and melanoma. Severe sunburns should be seen as a medical emergency and treated right away (Radiation Emitting Products). Sunburns can lead to other types of skin damages, such as premature aging. Although premature aging may not really show up for years, people could still have it and not even know it (Radiation Emitting Products). Premature aging is a result of changes in collagen and elastin.

These tissues give skin rigidity so the skin can function and stretch to make facial expressions occur (Harmful Effects of Ultra Violet Radiation). Statistics show that eighty percent of premature aging happens in the first twenty years of a person’s life. This age period is exactly when puberty hits. Collagen and elastin is no longer produced once a person hits the age where puberty starts. When puberty begins, so does the aging process which is where premature aging comes in (Harmful Effects of Ultra Violet Radiation). This type of aging looks like dry, wrinkled skin along with dark spots scattered across the skin.

Seeing a dermatologist or plastic surgeon is recommended to remove this aging. The causes of premature aging are sometimes ot always clear, but exposure to the ultra violet radiation breaks down collagen and elastin (Radiation Emitting Products). Along with premature aging, other types of damages from ultra violet radiation occur within the body. “Studies show that ultra violet radiation promotes cancer in two different ways: direct DNA damage and by weakening the immune system directly’ (Does UV interact with the immune system? Suppression of the immune system means that the immune system will not work as hard as it usually does to protect the body from illnesses when exposed to ultra violet radiation. Over the years, researchers have found out that exposure to ultra violet radiation affects the activity and distribution of cells that are responsible for working in the immune system. A study in the United States looked into the effect of sunscreen application on the incidence of cold sores. Of thirty-eight patients who recurrently suffer from Herpes simplex infections, twenty-seven developed cold sores after exposure to ultra violet radiation.

In contrast, after the application of protective sunscreen, none of the patients developed cold sores. In the case of cold sores, it can o longer keep the virus Herpes simplex under control which results in reactivation of the infection (Does UV interact with the immune system? ). This study shows how overexposure to ultra violet radiation suppresses the functions of the immune system such as being immune to diseases as well as not being able to fight off diseases as well (Radiation Emitting Products).

In relation to the ultra violet rays suppressing the immune system, people with a weak immune system are at higher risk for developing actinic keratosis because they cannot fight off the disease (Does UV interact with the immune system? . Actinic keratosis is known to like a dry, scaly growth that usually appears on the face, ears, lips, back of the hands, or any area exposed to the sun a lot (What is Actinic Keratosis? ). Persistent exposure to the sun is the main cause of actinic keratosis. A couple minutes of the sun each day adds up, and these minutes can cause damages such as actinic keratosis.

Most cases of actinic keratosis end up being a form of pre- cancer, but since not all cases become cancer, doctors have extreme difficulty distinguishing a difference between the cancerous actinic keratosis and Just a dry, caly growth. Because of this issue, multiple treatments are available for actinic keratosis that involves cutting these growths out of the skin. The growths can be removed most of the time, but usually the growths return. Since the amount of time people spend in the sun’s harmful rays adds up, older people are more at risk for developing actinic keratosis (What is Actinic Keratosis? . In this generation though, tanning starts at an incredibly young age. Therefore, people in their twenties are developing actinic keratosis even though people over the age of eighty are more than ikely to develop actinic keratosis. This type of sun damage is the leading cause of squamous cell carcinoma, which is the second most common form of skin cancer. It is a growth that is uncontrollable and is made up of the squamous cells in the skin’s upper layers (What is Actinic Keratosis? ). The only effective way to prevent actinic keratosis is to not go out into the sun’s harmful rays at all.

Although some people say that it is safer to go outside when it is cloudy instead of sunny, they are incredibly incorrect. Seventy to eighty percent of ultra violet rays can pass through clouds and eflect off of other surfaces giving extra exposure other than from the sun (What is Actinic Keratosis. ) Considering ultra violet rays can pass through anything, these rays can harm the eyes as well even if one is wearing those $100 Oakleys. The eyeball may occupy less than two percent of the body, but it represents an entire system to allow a person to see.

Even if the eye has defense mechanisms such as eyelashes and squinting in the bright light, these mechanisms are limited. On a cloudy day, people tend not to squint as much so ultra violet rays shine directly into the eyes causing them to come n contact with radiation (What are the effects of UV on the eye? ). Photokeratitis is referred to as a sunburn that occurs in the cornea. This eye condition is developed from overexposure to ultra violet radiation which can even be from artificial sources, such as tanning beds.

This type of damage is not long-lasting but it is a painful experience that no person should have to encounter (Radiation Emitting Products. ) Although photokeratisis and photocon]unctivitis sound similar, photokeratisis is an inflammation of the cornea and photocon]unctivitis in an inflamed conjunctiva. The onjunctiva is a membrane that lines the inside of the eye socket and the eye lids. Even though photokeratisis and photocon]unctivitis are not long lasting, the damages of these eye problems add up to lead to other threats to the eye (What are the effects of UV on the eye? . A type of eye damage that comes from photoconJunctivitis is pterygium. Pterygium is a growth of the conjunctiva that becomes so large that without treatment, it can block vision (Thompson. ) Another eye condition related to overexposure to ultra violet radiation is cataracts, which is the main cause of blindness throughout the world. Cloudy or spotted vision is symptoms of cataracts (What are the effects of UV on the eye). While sunglasses to protect eyes from this type of radiation exist, most people do not have them.

Instead, people spend their money on new Oakleys or possibly some Ray-Ban sunglasses that are definitely not 100% protected from ultra violet radiation. Along with these special sunglasses, tanning bed goggles are worn while tanning to protect the eyes. But these goggles basically do nothing to protect the eyes at all. To fully protect the eyeballs from ultra violet radiation, the glasses need to be wrapped around the temples so the harmful ays cannot reach the eyes at all. Because of all this trouble to go through to protect the eyes, people tend to Just not wear the goggles or protective sunglasses (Keep an Eye on UV Safety).

All of these types of damages to the skin and to the inside of the body are all causes that lead up to one deadly thing: skin cancer. Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often causes by ultra violet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations or genetic defects that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and from malignant tumors. Skin Cancer Information. ) Skin cancer is the most common of every cancer among Americans. Each year, more than two million people die from various types of skin cancer. Over 120,000 new melanoma cases are diagnosed every year” (Addicted to the Tan). Two main types of skin cancer are known to this generation: melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma is a less common type of skin cancer but the most dangerous and the main cause of cancer deaths each year. This type of skin cancer can be cured through chemotherapy or surgery, but that can only happen if the disease is caught in the early stages (Radiation Emitting Products. Non-melanoma skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These types of non-melanoma cancers both appear in the epidermis and are uncontrollable growths.

Skin cancer is the easiest type of cancer to cure if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Treatments for skin cancer vary depending on the type and the severity of the cancer. If the cancer is allowed to progress, it can result in disfigurement and even death (Skin Cancer Information). Although all of these effects of tanning are quite terrible, tanning can have some effects that are not harmful but helpful to the body. Ultra violet radiation stimulates the production of vitamin D which helps with skeletal development, immune system function, and blood cell formation (Are there beneficial effects of UV radiation? . Vitamin D is helpful in preventing ovary and kidney cancer. The only way to produce vitamin D is by receiving ultra violet radiation. Another way tanning is beneficial is that tanning aids in darkening the skin. While darkening the skin a sign of damage, it also darkens terrible scars that people may not want others to see. This happens by the colors of the scar and skin blending together; this process works with stretch arks as well (Are there beneficial effects of UV radiation? ).

In relation to stretch marks, everyday exposure stimulates the thyroid gland which balances metabolism to aid the body to lose weight. Tanning outside or in the tanning bed gives off ultra violet radiation to help balance metabolism. Metabolism is the process that the body uses to turn food into energy (Danish). If metabolism is increased, then the body will not only have more energy but less fat. The final way that tanning is beneficial is by drying out the skin. Tanning is known for drying oils out of the body. Oily skin is the ain cause for acne and since tanning dries out the skin, acne disappears with tanning.

Along with acne, tanning helps with eczema which is the inflammation of the epidermis. Tanning helps cure eczema by drying the skin to cause the inflammation to go down (Danish. ) The bottom line is that tanning is extremely harmful to the body. Even though there are some positive effects, the negative definitely outweighs the positive in this situation. From small sorts of damage, such as a suntan, all the way to skin cancer, these effects harm the body in numerous way and can possibly end up being the cause ofa tanning victim’s death.