Banning Tanning Booths, Lessens Risk for Skin Cancer

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Individuals who want to change their skin color into tan go to try various measures in order to achieve their dream skin color. These people go to beaches and expose their skin to the glaring heat of sun for a prolong period of time just to attain the tanning of their skin. Others who would not like to be heated out by the sun would visit tanning booths which offers services that can tan the skin using tanning sprays. However, limiting or restricting these measures can reduce the risk of having skin cancer, according to a new study.

Skin cancer or skin neoplasm is composed of tumors or abnormal skin growths that are caused by multiple factors and has varying degrees of malignancy. These factors which can predispose a person to the development of skin cancer may include genetics, ultra violet rays from extreme sun exposure, and use of chemicals that can cause alteration in the composition of the cells. These factors although present and existing in the environment should be avoided to a certain extent.

The new study is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study involves investigation of the effects of ultra-violet rays to groups of mice for 2 time schedule. According to the researchers, the exposure of the mice to the ultra violet rays has increased the risk of the development of skin cancer for about 500 per cent. However, they reconsider the differences between the circadian clock of mice and humans, which means that mice are more susceptible from the harmful effects of UV sun rays as compared to humans and vice versa.

Furthermore, the researchers used two groups of mice, one was exposed to UV rays at 4 am and the other group was exposed at 4pm. After the exposure to the UV rays, the researchers observed for the development of skin cancer. They found out that those mice that were exposed when the cell repair is at its lowest develop skin cancer with faster rate as compared to those mice that were exposed when cell repair is at its highest.

“Therefore, our research would suggest that restricting sunbathing or visits to the tanning booth to morning hours would reduce the risk of skin cancer in humans,” Aziz Sancar, M.D., PhD, senior study author, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Sarah Graham Kenan professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the UNC School of Medicine said. Also they added that further studies must be established in order to make recommendations.

The Skin Cancer Foundation believes that, “the solar UV spectrum divide into three wavelengths - UVA, UVB and UVC. Once, UVA and UVC were thought harmless, and only UVB  was believed dangerous. UVC is still deemed no threat, since it is absorbed by the ozone layer. But UVA accounts for up to 95 percent of solar UVR reaching Earth. Though far less capable of causing sunburn than UVB, UVA is present during all daylight hours year round, while the amount of UVB in sunlight varies by season, location and time of day.”



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