Appeal to vanity could impact tanning salon use

June 1, 2010

Chicago - A Northwestern University dermatology professor may have found a way to persuade young people that tanning salons are a health risk, msnbc.com reports.

Chicago - A Northwestern University dermatology professor may have found a way to persuade young people that tanning salons are a health risk, msnbc.com reports.

According to National Cancer Institute statistics, melanoma rates among 15- to 39-year-old Caucasian women rose 50 percent between 1980 and 2004. But despite efforts to raise awareness among young women that indoor tanning greatly increases their risk of contracting skin cancer, 25 to 40 percent of teenage girls still visit tanning salons.

Msnbc.com reports a team of researchers led by June Robinson, M.D., of Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, produced a 25-page booklet explaining that tanning destroys skin collagen and can negatively affect the skin’s appearance.

They distributed the booklet to 435 salon-users age 18 to 22, with the result that 35 percent of the young women stopped visiting salons.

Msnbc.com quotes Dr. Robinson as saying, “The fear of looking horrible trumped everything else” in persuading some tanners to stop.