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Three More States Ban Tanning Beds for Minors

Because skin cancer rates continue to rise among young adults – a group previously unlikely to be diagnosed – states are acting on convincing evidence that indoor tanning is a significant factor.  In 2013, following a number of other states, Illinois, Nevada, and Texas enacted legislation to block access to indoor tanning for minors. This is a trend we hope will eventually be rolled out across all states.

In June, Texas and Nevada became the fourth and fifth U.S. states to pass laws prohibiting anyone under 18 from indoor tanning; in August, Illinois became the sixth.

These new laws take effect as significant scientific evidence links indoor tanning with melanoma and other skin cancers. According to figures compiled by the Skin Cancer Foundation, of melanoma cases among 18-to-29-year-olds who had tanned indoors, 76 percent were attributable to tanning bed use. And more than 170,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in the U.S. each year are associated with indoor tanning.

Along with the three states to entirely ban indoor tanning among minors in 2013, three others passed legislation regulating the use of indoor tanning equipment. In Oregon, anyone under 18 is prohibited from indoor tanning without a prescription, and in Connecticut and New Jersey indoor tanning is prohibited for anyone under age 17,  This is in addition to other states that require parental consent, or prohibit indoor tanning for those under 14.

The American Academy of Dermatology cites studies showing nearly 28 million Americans – including 2.3 million teens—use indoor tanning beds each year. However, six states have now banned indoor tanning for minors since the beginning of 2012, and some 29 additional states have at least one legislative bill under consideration regarding the regulation or prohibition of indoor tanning for minors in 2014. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed that the classification for sunlamps and tanning beds be raised to a Class II level, which institutes stricter regulations to protect public health.

Make your voice heard.

If you believe indoor tanning devices should receive the maximum amount of regulation, which more closely matches the health risks of these harmful devices, write a letter of support to your state elected officials urging the FDA to regulate tanning beds and ban those under 18 from using them. You can also email The Skin Cancer Foundation at advocacy@skincancer.org. The Foundation will compile all emails of support and send them to the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s office.

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade

Texas teens bid farewell to tanning beds

Texas will now join California, Vermont, Oregon, and Nevada in prohibiting tanning beds for minors younger than 18 years of age. This announcement comes shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18.

Anti-skin cancer organizations are pleased and hope to see a decrease in skin cancer rates over time. “The American Academy of Dermatology Association is proud to have supported this legislation and commends the state of Texas for joining the fight against skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,” said board-certified dermatologist Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, the most common users of indoor tanning beds. Prohibiting minors’ access to indoor tanning stops this behavior before it can become a habit that continues into adulthood.”

Legislation prohibiting the use of indoor tanning beds by minors under 18 passed both the Texas Senate and House in May. Gov. Rick Perry did not sign or veto the bill within the 20-day period. Therefore, the bill automatically became law. The ban will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2013.

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE

Oregon joins the tanning bed “ban” wagon

On May 9, 2013, lawmakers passed a bill making Oregon the third state, following California and Vermont, to restrict indoor tanning for minors less than 18 years of age. The only exception is if a minor has a doctor’s note allowing him or her to tan for medical purposes.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, said the bill was aimed at reducing melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, which studies show is linked to teen tanning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oregon women have the highest rate of death from melanoma in the country. “At the end of the day this is about protecting Oregon’s children. Something that we’re all committed to do,” Steiner Hayward said to Oregonian. “When 32 percent of high school girls are using tanning beds, parents aren’t doing their job.”

Tanning beds were also highlighted during Skin Cancer Awareness Month this May as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their support of stronger warning labels on tanning beds, including a recommendation that people under the age of 18 abstain from using the devices. The FDA also hopes to reclassify tanning beds and sunlamps from Class 1 (low risk) to Class 2 (moderate risk) devices.

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Success Stories Wellness Warriors

Melanoma Survivor Vanessa

During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Coolibar invites skin cancer survivors to share their stories with us in their own words. Hope, determination and drive to educate others play a major role in these individuals’ lives. Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone. Prevention and early detection can be life saving! We hope you share these stories with your friends, family and colleagues. Be SunAWARE. Read Vanessa’s story.

I grew up in small town Idaho where life revolved around nature and the Great Outdoors. Any and all free time our family had was spent outside: camping, fishing, hiking, skiing, riding horses, and playing sports. I naturally excelled at athletics, and my family was amazingly supportive as I bounced around from court to court trying out the newest sport that inspired me. But eventually I picked up a volleyball, and it stuck.

Volleyball has guided me through life. I played DI collegiate volleyball, I coached DII collegiate volleyball, and within the last few years, I learned to love a new format of the game that was introduced to me while living on the east coast – beach volleyball. I quickly discovered that beach was a perfect match for my game as it enhances my speed, agility, smarts and well-roundedness on the court. So I threw myself into training and competing against the best beach athletes in the region, and nation. My career yielded great results and in summer 2012. I competed in18 tournaments in seven different states. I was, and am completely addicted to the game, so at the end of the year I decided to further pursue my dream and passion of playing professional beach volleyball at the top level. In January 2013 I relocated to Hermosa Beach, California – the hub of professional beach volleyball in the US – to start a new life. I am happy to be much closer to family, much closer to the mountains, and much closer to the best in beach volleyball athletes where I can train and continue to build upon a new and exciting career.

Summer 2011, I was enjoying a day of waterskiing with my family when my older sister (who is a doctor), noticed a mole on my stomach that she thought looked questionable. For precautionary purposes, she suggested that I have it removed. It was a mole I had seen every day of my life and I hadn’t ever thought twice about it; but trusting my sister’s advice, I agreed to do so. Within the next week we had removed the mole, sent it off to the labs, and returned to our normal lives. At the time, I was living across the nation from my family, so when the lab results came back, I received a phone call from my older sister with startling news – that small mole was in fact melanoma.

I have always been an active, outdoorsy person, and on top of that I am the perfect candidate for skin cancer as a pale, freckled, red head. But I had never in my life gone in for a skin check, and I most certainly did not have a doctor lined up in Washington D.C. where I was living when I received this news. It was a frightening moment, but I had comfort in talking with my sister and together we researched reputable doctors in the area and I was able to get an appointment not too long after.

The first day I visited Dr. Ali Hendi’s office was eye opening. I was alarmed to see the impact melanoma had on so many patients as they came and went from the office. Most of them were decades older than myself, and walked out of the operating room having lost parts of their face, their ears, their nose, and more. It was a huge reality check on how sun exposure adds up over time.

I was informed that my case of melanoma would require Moh’s surgery, which I knew nothing about, but I was quickly acquainted. Moh’s surgery involves cutting out layer upon layer of skin, and testing each layer, until the Doctors determine that they have gone deep enough and the Melanoma is no longer present in that part of the body. Assuming the Melanoma is caught early enough, Moh’s is the final step in removing the skin cancer.

In my first Moh’s appointment, I left with 21 stitches that went two layers deep into my stomach, and a precautionary removal of 2 other moles. But not too long after, I received another phone call with news that one of those moles came back positive with Melanoma as well. So I schedule to have my second round of Moh’s surgery and thankfully this one wasn’t as deep. I was lucky enough to have caught mine early and never had to undergo radiation or further treatments, but I witnessed hundreds of others that weren’t as fortunate as myself, and I immediately made substantial life changes.

I am the perfect candidate for Melanoma – a fair skinned red head. But unlike most red heads, I tan very well. Throughout my life, I’ve been told many times that I am lucky that I get color. But having had this experience, I would argue the opposite. Because I tanned more than your average red-head, growing up, I likely didn’t pay as much attention to sun exposure than most carrot tops that burn like crazy. But I am just as susceptible. In years past, I wore sunscreen if I was outside for long lengths at a time. But I also liked how I looked with a tan. I liked to get color. And like most young females, I went through a stage where I would visit tanning salons.

Since then my life and views on sun protection have taken a 180. My participation on the professional beach volleyball circuit, and my passion for the game, make sun an inevitable factor in my life; however I have made substantial changes to my training routines to ensure I am being as safe as possible. Not only am I paying more attention to my skin, and taking steps to stay protected, but I have also made skin care awareness my main mission for the 2013 season I have coming up. I am thankful to have incredible Sponsors that believe in me as an athlete, believe in me as a person, and believe in my mission as well which falls in line with what they do as well. KINeSYS Performance Sunscreen keeps me protected in the sun. They produce a variety of sun protection products including a Zinc based ointment, spray on sunblock, facial sunblock sticks, and more that I wear religiously. I will be incorporating Coolibar sun protection clothing to my volleyball wardrobe for a physical block. And the Dermatology team of Moy-Fincher-Chipps in the South Bay of California, also encourage me to be as proactive as possible with their medical support. Since my diagnoses, I have had regular skin checks in 3-month increments, and I have had two other pre-cancerous spots removed. I don’t plan on having any more issues with Melanoma and I will do everything I can to keep my skin cancer free, and educate others on what they can do as well.

I still love the outdoors, and I still love beach volleyball, so being in the sun is an inevitable for me. But if I am not willing to compromise time spent outside, then I have to be, and AM more cognizant of how I prepare to do so. I am a freak about sunscreen, I always have protective layers with me, and I wear a hat nearly everywhere I go. I have two substantial scars of my stomach that act as a reminder of what I went through, and what could easily happen again if I am not careful. Those scars not only act as a reminder for myself, but they act as a conversation starter for other beach volleyball players who spend too much time in the sun. Hopefully my stories inspire them to be more proactive as well.

My advice for everyone is get a skin check – even if you are dark skinned, or barely spend any time in the sun, or think you are fine. It is better to be safe than sorry and a quick skin check will give you peace of mind.

Know the characteristics of irregular moles, and pay attention to those that you have. It is too easy to not pay attention, and not all of us have Doctor sisters looking out for us on the ski boat. If something looks funny, or starts to change, see a Doctor immediately. Wear sunscreen, hats, UPF shirts, and be safe. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone, it isn’t worth the risk.

Photo credit: Scott Allison Photography

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade

FDA works to increase awareness of tanning bed risks

Tanning Bed

Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed order that, if finalized, would reclassify sunlamp products and require labeling to include a recommendation designed to warn young people not to use these devices.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, in those who have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use. The proposed order does not prohibit the use of sunlamp products by those under the age of 18, but it provides a warning on the consequences.

The order would reclassify sunlamp products from a low risk device (class I) to a moderate risk device (class II).

“Using indoor tanning beds can damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA’s proposed changes will help address some of the risks associated with sunlamp products and provide consumers with clear and consistent information.”

If the order is finalized, manufacturers would have to submit a pre-market notification (510(k)) to the FDA for these devices, which are currently exempt from any pre-market review. Manufacturers would have to show that their products have met certain performance testing requirements, address certain product design characteristics and provide comprehensive labeling that presents consumers with clear information on the risks of use. The order proposes to include a contraindication against use on people under 18 years old, and the labeling would have to include a warning that frequent users of sunlamp products should be regularly screened for skin cancer.

Resource: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm350864.htm

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE

Tanning bed legislation – where are we now?

This week, the Connecticut Health Committee passed a bill they hope will ban teens from tanning beds. The state senate and house still need to pass the bill before it becomes state law. Nationally, anti-tanning bed regulations have increased significantly over the past decade due to rapidly increasing skin cancer rates and new studies on the negative health effects of indoor tanning.

Also in the news this week, New Jersey officially signed their teen tanning bed ban into law. Now, no one under 17 years of age will be able to use a UV tanning bed. Curious where your state stands?

Tanning bed legislation in the U.S.

  • 5/2/2012, Vermont became the second state to ban indoor tanning for those 18 years and younger.
  • 10/9/2011, California became the first state to prohibit indoor tanning for children under age 18.
  • As of today, over 30 states restrict indoor tanning use by minors.

National Conference of State Legislatures Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors (July 2012)

Resources:
1. Norwich Bulletin
2. Washington Post
3. American Academy of Dermatology
4. National Conference of State Legislatures

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade

#TanningIsOut: A Pledge for Teens

Spring break, prom, summer, all the reasons teens say they tan are around the corner. The Melanoma Foundation of New England is asking high school and college students to take the “no-tanning pledge” through their Your Skin Is In program. While the pledge contest portion is only for schools in New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), the pledge can be taken by anyone.

Your Skin Is In started as an effort to help build awareness in teens, as well as the general puclic, that UV exposure from both sunlight and tanning beds is linked to skin cancer. Using a tanning booth once a month before the age of 35, increases your chance of getting melanoma by 75%. Melanoma is also the second most common cancer in teens and young adults ages 15-29.

The Melanoma Foundation of New England hopes teens hearing this will take the following actions:
If you’ve never tanned before – don’t.
If you currently tan – stop.

Share #tanningisout with your friends on Twitter.

Take the pledge: #TanningIsOut or enter your skin is in Your Skin Is In Student Challenge before April 26, 2013.

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SunAWARE What's Hot

Minnesota’s rising skin cancer rates reflect a national trend

Minnesota’s skin cancer rates are going up, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota is not the only state seeing more skin cancer cases. Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says the national incidence of melanoma has been on the rise since the mid 70s. Officials are urging the public to avoid the sun all year long and stay out of tanning beds.

The department says melanoma rates rose 35 percent for men and 38 percent for women between 2005 and 2009 in Minnesota. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of melanoma isn’t clear, but exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning beds increase a person’s risk of developing melanoma. Adversely, limiting UV exposure can help reduce a person’s chances of getting melanoma.


SunAWARE advice

More on Minnesota’s Rising Melanoma Rates and Melanoma:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/01/30/health/melanoma-rates

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/melanoma/DS00439

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/189051661.html?refer=y

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Educate Others SunAWARE What's Hot

Policymakers Regulate Indoor Tanning for Minors

If you’re under 18 years old and live in the state of California or Vermont, say goodbye to tanning bed use once and for all. California stepped up and became the first state in the nation to ban the use of indoor tanning beds for all minors under 18. The CA ban went into effect on January 1, 2012, followed by Vermont on July 1, 2012 – both monumental dates in the anti-tanning movement.

“According to (California) State Senator Ted Lieu, who introduced and sponsored the legislation on its long journey through the state assembly, the bill’s successful passage provides hope that similar action can be achieved in other states across the United States. ‘I strongly believe that this law is a good model for other states and countries to follow,’ says Mr. Lieu. ‘Every year the evidence is more overwhelming that tanning greatly increases one’s likelihood of skin cancer, which is why we need to keep pushing the envelope to bring about more legislation to restrict indoor tanning,’ Mr. Lieu notes.”

The National Council of State Governments has assembled an easy to read graph and table for state indoor tanning laws and regulations for minors for a side by side comparison. Visit their website to learn more about the anti-tanning legislation in your state.

2012 State Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors 2012 State Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors

Make your voice heard.

If you believe indoor tanning devices should receive the maximum amount of regulation, which more closely matches the health risks of these harmful devices, write a letter of support to your state elected representatives urging the FDA to regulate tanning beds and ban those under 18 from using them.  You can also email The Skin Cancer Foundation at advocacy@skincancer.org. The Foundation will compile all emails of support and send them to the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s office.

Resources:

National Conference of State Legislatures

Practical Dermatology

The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Coolibar Blog

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Expert Rx Sunscreens and Lotions

Considering self tanning? What you need to know.

Tanning booths are considered unhealthy by dermatologists, but what about sunless tanning (A.K.A. self tans, UV-free tans, fake tans)? While rocking the natural skin look is most recommended, those who cannot ditch the glow should opt for self tanners over UV tanning. First learn how it works. Then how to properly apply it.

At the local drug-store and you’ll find self tanners in the form of lotions, creams, sprays and tanning wipes. All contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar molecule that darkens the top layer of skin and is the main ingredient used in self tanners. DHA does not instantly dye the skin. Rather, over the course of a few hours, skin will gradually brown. This color will fade in 5 – 10 days.

In the 1920’s DHA was first used as an active ingredient in the pharmaceutical field. Then, in 1957 a doctor discovered the tanning properties of DHA. DHA is the only approved agent for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for artificial tanning—external use only. According to the FDA tanning pills pose many risks, thus they are not FDA approved. Similarly, Melanotan, an illegal synthetic hormone injection that tans skin, can have serious side effects, possibly including death.

Melanie D. Palm, MD, MBA, recently wrote an article for the Skin Cancer Foundation where she states, “There is no clear evidence that DHA is harmful to humans if applied topically and used as directed. Concern about DHA arose recently when a study correlated use of highly concentrated amounts of DHA with production of free radicals, molecules that form naturally in the body due to oxygen use and can damage cells. However, concentrations used in sunless tanning preparations are considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.” Self tanners typically contain between 3 and 5 percent DHA.

If you’re going to use self-tanning spray or visit a spray tan booth, it’s recommended not to inhale or get into the mucus membranes as the long-term health effects for inhalation are not yet determined. When the FDA originally approved DHA for external use back in 1977, it was popular in tanning lotions. Now that is comes in spray form, toxicologists are concerned and urge consumers to use with caution.

Self tanners do not provide any protection from the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Remember to apply and reapply as directed. If you’re spending the day outdoors, opt for sun protective clothing, sun hats and UV sunglasses as well.

If you decide to try self tanning, follow these tips from American Academy of Dermatology for proper application:

1. Exfoliate. Using an exfoliating product or wash cloth will help remove dead skin cells. Spend a little more time exfoliating where your skin is thickest — elbows, knees and ankles.

2. Dry your skin. Drying your skin before you apply a self-tanner helps it go on evenly.

3. Apply in sections. Apply the self-tanner in sections (such as the arms, then legs, followed by the torso). Massage the self-tanner into your skin in a circular motion.

4. Wash your hands after each section. You will avoid orange-colored palms by washing your hands with soap and water after you finish applying the self-tanner to each section of your body.

5. Blend at your wrists and ankles. For a natural look, you need to lightly extend the tanner from your wrists to your hands and from your ankles to your feet.

6. Dilute over your joints. Lightly rub with a damp towel or apply a thin layer of lotion on top of the self-tanner.

7. Give your skin time to dry. Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. For the next three hours, it is best to wear loose clothing and try to avoid sweating.

8. Apply sunscreen every day.

The safest color is still “natural” skin color. If tanning is a must, take all facts into consideration and remember the safer route – self tanners, not UV tanners (A.K.A. tanning beds).

Resources:

1. National Toxicology Program: DHA
2. SCF: Ask the Experts: Are Self Tanners Safe?
3. FDA: Tanning Pill
4. FDA: Tanning Injection Warning Letter
5. Huffington Post: Did Tanning Injections Lead to Bolton Woman’s Death?
6. ABC.com: Are ‘Spray-On’ Tans Safe? Experts Raise Questions as Industry Puts Out Warnings
7. AAD: How to apply self-tanner

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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