Despite repeated warnings from dermatologists on the health dangers of tanning, results of a new survey by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) confirmed that a large percentage of Caucasian teen girls and young women are still using tanning beds or intentionally tanning outdoors.

Thirty-two percent of respondents had used a tanning bed in the past year, and of those respondents, 25% used a tanning bed at least weekly, on average. An overwhelming majority (81%) reported that they had tanned outdoors either frequently or occasionally in the past year.

“Our survey underscores the importance of educating young women about the very real risks of tanning, as melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — is increasing faster in females 15- to 29-years-old than in males of the same age group,” said dermatologist Ronald L. Moy, president of the AAD. “In fact, most young women with melanoma are developing it on their torso, which may be the result of high-risk tanning behaviors such as indoor tanning.” Studies show indoor tanning increases a person’s risk of melanoma by 75%.

Although spray tans are considered a safe alternative to UV exposure from the sun and indoor tanning beds, 86% of respondents indicated that they had not received a spray tan in the past year. So get out there and promote your sunless tanning services this summer.

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