CHICAGO, May 17 (UPI) — A U.S. study suggests the best way to discourage college-age women from using tanning salons is to remind them the treatments can cause wrinkled skin.
Although previous studies showed the use of indoor tanning devices can increase the risk of melanomas — the deadliest form of skin cancer — by 75 percent, young women often refuse to cut back on indoor tanning.
“They’re not worried about skin cancer, but they are worried about getting wrinkled and being unattractive,” said Northwestern University Professor June Robinson of the Feinberg School of Medicine and the study’s senior author. She led investigators in determining the best strategy to wean college-age women who are frequent tanners from using tanning salons.
“The fear of looking horrible trumped everything else,” Robinson said.
She said the study’s findings showed warning young women about the effects on their appearance caused a 35 percent drop in their indoor tanning visits.
East Tennessee State University Professor Joel Hillhouse, lead author of the paper, noted some women in the study eventually stopped tanning. “It was a progressive kind of thing,” he said. “At first the women said they tried sunless tanning as an alternative, but over time they gave up tanning altogether.”
The research is reported in the journal Archives of Dermatology. Robinson — the editor of the journal — was not involved in the editorial evaluation or decision to accept the article, officials said.
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