Glowing in White Puts Brides at Risk

Exposing skin to the sun and tanning booths can lead to cancer, which is not news. Consumers everywhere are becoming more educated about sunscreen products, applying them liberally when outdoors, but in preparation for one special day it seems at all sun exposure warnings fly out the window: the wedding day.

Strapless and backless wedding gowns are on the rise, and as a result, more women are hopping in the tanning bed and potentially endangering their lives.

The American Cancer Society (ACS), in its annual report for 2006, estimated 68,780 new skin cancer cases in 2006; 30,420 cases were women. Shockingly, the group also estimated 10,710 skin cancer deaths for 2006; 3,720 of which were women.

On the Web site, board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Joel Schlessinger, M.D. commented on strapless and backless brides relying on the tanning booth to make them look their best on their big day.

“Brides who think they need a ‘base’ tan to look stunning at the wedding should think twice before going into a tanning booth,” said Schlessinger. “It only leads to problems in the future, such as skin cancer and wrinkles.”

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) estimates that more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. Of these cases, more than 111,900 are melanoma, a cancer that claims nearly 8,000 lives annually.

Schlessinger strongly urges brides and bridesmaids to stay out of tanning beds, noting that ultraviolet rays UVA and UVB are very harmful for skin. Schlessinger adds that tanning booths are more harmful than the sun and can cause burns due to forgetful operators.

The AAD and the ACS both urge the public to avoid tanning beds. The AAD adds that the UV light from the sun and tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling. The AAD suggests using a sunless tanning product.

Due to new trends in sunless tanning, brides and bridesmaids alike have a limitless array of options to choose from. If they can not fight the urge to visit the tanning salon, they may be in luck if their tanning salon offers the option of a spray-on tan. Spray-on tanning booths’ main ingredient, DHA, interacts with amino acids in skin cells causing the skin to turn brown.

Similarly, brides-to-be can also pick up an over-the-counter sunless tanning spray, lotion or wipe. Yves Rocher offers a variety of sunless tanning products for Summer 2006 including those specifically designed for the face. The Express Bronze Sunless Tanning Care is a spray that, according to the company, hydrates and smoothes skin in only one hour.

Brides and bridesmaids can still be glowing in their gowns, but they must exercise caution. As many dermatologists and skin doctors are discouraging the use of tanning beds, many cosmetic and skin care products are erupting on the scene to offer alternatives.

-Katie Schaefer, C&T Magazine

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