When most of us think about tanning salons, we think about older teens and college students, still believing that tan skin is attractive and ignoring the warnings about the damage that tanning of any kind, indoor and outdoor, causes. We might assume that this ill-conceived choice is being made by those old enough to make their decisions and drive themselves to tan sessions.
However, a recent study on tanning salons in the U.S. shows that many girls younger than 16 are visiting tanning salons regularly. This age group usually brings someone along to their visits, and the person usually driving them to the tanning salon may surprise you.
Girls under 16 who go to tanning salons usually do so with their mothers
Many girls who begin going to tanning salons before the age of16 aren’t coming alone, and they aren’t bringing their BFF. Instead, the study shows they’re tanning with mom.
More than half of indoor tanners start before age 21
About a third of young tanners start this bad habit before age 18, and for close to half of those who start before age 16, they’re going with a family member:
- Over half of girls under 16 say they go with mom
- Close to 30% of boys under 16 say they go with mom
The tanning salon/cancer risk message still isn’t reaching some of us
The study authors say they were surprised to learn that’s it’s common for a family member, usually mom, to take their daughters to a tanning salon for the first time. It’s been shown that the younger someone starts indoor tanning, the more likely they are to tan more frequently, and the risk of developing skin cancer is also greater.
Mothers can influence whether their children try tanning salons
As a dermatologist, this study only strengthens what I already know – and try to pass onto all my patients – about the dangers of any tanning. I can help you share this information with your loved ones, especially your teens. So call today to for a skin cancer consultation and check: (210) 370-9995