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Mothers' indoor tanning puts daughters at risk

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Indoor tanning and teens

Researchers say mothers who tan indoors are putting their daughters at risk for melanoma.

Findings from a survey show teens were four times more likely to tan indoors if their mothers did.

The findings are from the American Academy of Dermatology. The researchers say the study highlights the need for mothers to set a better example for teens. The individual risk of melanoma increases 75 percent with indoor tanning and rates are rapidly increasing.

Dermatologist Ellen S. Marmur, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York says, “The survey shows how influential mothers can be on their daughters’ behavior, and that is why it’s critical for mothers to set a good example by not tanning.”

Marmur says tanning is an unhealthy behavior that is not only influenced by mothers. Peer pressure was cited by 49 percent of teens surveyed, 96 percent of whom said their friends also use tanning beds.

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An release earlier this month from the American Academy of Dermatology also found tanning salons are not educating teens and young women about the dangers, even though the risks are well documented.

The study also found parents are aware of teen’s use of indoor tanning, something the researchers say is “troubling”.

The findings show teen indoor tanning in teens is influenced by mothers who also tan, with peer pressure adding to the problem. Dr. Marmur suggests parents educate children about the dangers of tanning beds, which are as serious and smoking or drinking alcohol.

American Academy of Dermatology

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons