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          Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches

          Colin Lux

          Issue date: 4/23/10 Section: News
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          Tanning beds should be avoided at all costs. Not only will they put a dent in your wallet, they can be seriously detrimental to your health.
          Tanning beds should be avoided at all costs. Not only will they put a dent in your wallet, they can be seriously detrimental to your health.
          [Click to enlarge]
          Now that the beautiful weather is approaching, it is easy for us to forget that we have been trapped inside for months deprived of sunlight. I don't know about you, but my initial plan for the summer is to get a tan. We all want it, but at what cost? There are key things to avoid and steps to take in order to preserve your health.

          1. The costs of the tanning salon: Although the sunny months have just begun, there seem to be many people who look as though they just stepped off the plane from Miami. Their secret: the tanning salon. On the surface everything looks great; their skin is bronze and they lack the dreaded tan lines many of us suffer. But besides spending roughly $20-40 a month on this tan, they're also paying the price of increased risks of skin cancer. And skin cancer isn't the only problem; overexposure to ultraviolet rays can cause eye damage, premature wrinkling of the skin, and light-induced skin rashes.

          2. The problem with tanning beds: Before we get into the rest of the details, let's look at what occurs when you tan. Exposure to ultraviolet rays causes your skin cells to produce additional pigment to protect itself from these rays. Essentially tanning cells to use this defense mechanism which in turn gives you the bronze skin everyone is so eager to have. But to get it, you should avoid tanning beds at all cost. When you're in the natural sun you body produces vitamin D from the rays, but in a tanning bed this benefit does not exist. There is absolutely no health benefit from tanning in a tanning bed.

          3. The importance of sunscreen: When you do lay out, wear sunscreen. It may sound counter-intuitive, but don't worry, you will still get tan. You can start off with a higher spf and then decrease it as the season progresses.

          4. Stay hydrated: Many people fail to drink enough water during the summer, with disastrous effects on their skin. Staying hydrated is most important during any season. You should be drinking 8-13 cups of fluid daily. If you are doing any activity that causes you to sweat, including laying out in the sun and tanning, then you should increase it to about 13-15 cups. Staying hydrated is the best way to keep your skin from getting dried out from the strong sun rays.

          It is foolish to tell everyone to avoid the sun completely because it is in fact healthy. Sunlight helps with vitamin D production, and can help your mood. All that I'm asking is that you tan smart. Not wearing sunscreen will not only make you burn worse, but it will do more damage than good and you won't get tan faster. Be cautious, because what you do today can greatly affect your health in the future.
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          In This Issue

          News

          • A Conversation with Caroline Goulding
          • Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates
          • International student session to debut during 2010 orientation
          • Name That Place - 4/23/2010
          • Relay For Life raises $76,000, short of goal but not short of spirit
          • Student Leadership Award Winners
          • Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches
          • What Now?
          • Mass funding successful for some, headache for other organizations

          Sports

          • Case falls to Wooster at Progressive Field
          • Spartan Spotlight: Obinna Nwanna
          • Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's
          • Spartans extend win streak to six
          • Spartans snap long losing streak
          • The next step
          • Top 10 Spartan stories of 2009-2010

          Opinion

          • 2009-2010 Year in Review
          • Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding
          • Living - and dying - on your own terms
          • The last hurrah: experiencing senior week
          • What are you doing this summer?

          Focus

          • A final fling for finals
          • Despite an oppressive crowd and disappointing opener, Ben Folds continues to impress on stage
          • MaDaCol performance distinguishes dance as alternative communication medium
          • Parting word of advice: Express yourself
          • Springfest blowout to feature activities, student bands and national headlines
          • The best bars in Cleveland
          • Tri-C Jazz Festival features stunning jazz organ performance, among others
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