General Health Concerns Skin Cancer Awareness Sun Blocking Clothing Tanning Addiction

Tanning Addiction and Skin Cancer Risks

Are you struggling with tanning addiction?

Young lady tannin, and signs of sunburn

Tanning addiction and skin cancer risks are seldom even considered. The addict is focused on the tan.

Even when you use sunscreen, the dangers are still building.

Most people think they use sunscreen properly.

The truth is, that few use enough sunscreen in the beginning application.

And for sure, few people reapply often enough. Nor do they use enough sunscreen on the second and third rounds of applications.

These facts put tanning addicts on a wrong-way street from the get-go.

Consider the Intensity of UV Radiation

Tanning addiction has you looking for the most intense UV rays to get to the desired degree of tan color as quickly as possible. Maybe a tanning addict will start with a slower tan plan, shorter tanning periods, and less intense sun.

However, once that addiction has formed, forget caution. Tanning addiction is in full force. Pushing to get that color as quickly as possible.

It matters not if you are using tanning beds or laying in the sun, both ways expose your skin to high levels of radiation.

Intense UV exposure can cause severe damage to the DNA in your skin cells. This will lead to mutations that can start the conditions needed for the development of cancer.

Tanning Addiction and Skin cancer.  Starting as a little one, the times you sunburn add up.

Accumulative UV Exposure

Have you considered your exposure in your lifetime? Tanning addiction has you accumulating a significant amount of lifetime UV exposure.

Those of us who have lived all our lives in sunny climates as we have here in central Texas have many past sun exposures.

The frequent and prolonged tanning sessions over an extended period?This results in a higher cumulative UV dose.

The more you tan, the greater your total UV exposure becomes increasing your risk of developing skin cancer over time.

Just as with any addictive behavior, repetition does its damage. This is why it is important to get professional help as soon as possible.

Often people with behavior addictions like tanning, find they exchange one bad habit for other bad habits. With professional help, you can make choices based on experience and known situations that can make your life better.

If your tanning addiction is the result of low self-esteem or lack of self-confidence, it is important to strengthen those parts of you.

You are important. You are a worthy person. Tanning is just what you do, not who you are.

However, without professional help, it may take longer to put an end to the tanning addiction. The longer it takes, the more skin damage there will be done.

Where is your point of damage beyond repair? I may have only 20 times to overexpose my skin to reach the point of my skin no longer repairing itself.

You may have 50 times, or you may have 10. How many times have you sunburned? Since you were very young?

Make sure you choose a healthy alternate behavior to make you feel better about yourself. Not just another activity that puts your health at risk.

Feet with tan lines indicating many times in the sun

Melanoma From Tanning?

Let’s talk a bit about specific types of skin cancer risks.

Tanning addiction is particularly associated with an increased risk of melanoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Melanoma has a strong link to intense and intermittent UV exposure, which is often characteristic of tanning behavior.

Those with tanning addiction may engage in sporadic and intense tanning sessions. This puts them at a higher risk of developing melanoma.

Tanning addiction can also heighten the risk of other types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

The damage from too much sun, and too much tanning time brings to mind the skin cancer risks. There are other ways tanning behavior can set one up for skin issues.

There is also the damage to your DNA. Your skin can’t heal if the DNA that programs your healing is not complete.

Changes to the skin from past tanning or sunburn events will interfere with your skin’s healing.

Cell growth can be altered. A cell that should repair itself and lay smooth will be rough and not allow the next cell to lay smoothly. Scars are an example of skin not repairing itself properly.

Most of us have scars. But when they are on your face, they cause more anxiety. We are concerned that others can see this imperfection!

Have You Forgotten What Your Skin Is Supposed To Do?

Our skin serves several important functions and plays a crucial role in protecting our bodies. Here are some of the main functions of our skin:

Your skin should protect your body. This always reminds me of a body sock! If there are worn spots that happen on the heel of your sock, your foot may get a rough spot or even a blister.

Often we think our skin will always be there and be healthy. Did you get too much sun on your nose? That thin skin on your nose may not heal as easily as other parts heal.

Your skin acts as a barrier that protects our internal organs, tissues, and systems from harmful external elements such as bacteria, viruses, pollutants, and UV radiation

Our skin is our body’s first line of defense against external threats.

The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, consists of specialized cells called keratinocytes that form a tough, waterproof barrier.

This barrier protects the underlying tissues and organs from pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Additionally, the skin’s acidic pH helps prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms, further enhancing its protective capabilities.

So our skin is our body’s first line of defense against external threats.

The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, consists of specialized cells called keratinocytes that form a tough, waterproof barrier.

This barrier protects the underlying tissues and organs from pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Additionally, the skin’s acidic pH helps prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms, further enhancing its protective capabilities.

Your skin’s immune system also plays a crucial role in protection. Langerhans cells are a type of immune cell present in the epidermis.

They detect foreign invaders and cause an immune response to defend against infections and harmful substances

Regulation of Body Temperature

If you get another sunburn on your back, will your skin still protect you? What about keeping your body temperature at the best levels for your health?

Will you be able to sweat enough to cool your body when out in the sun on a warm day?

Your skin helps to regulate your body temperature by sweating and releasing heat or conserving that heat through constriction of blood vessels when it’s cold.

Have you considered how important this is for your body’s internal health?

Never mind the comfort of helping cool you in warning situations, and keeping you warm when cold.

If your skin becomes damaged from too much sun, you will not have the benefit of this natural control nature equipped you with.

Just as nerves can become permanently damaged and no longer function properly, your skin can become damaged and longer work for you as it should.

Sun damage that makes your skin dry will make it easier to be damaged with the net overexposure, and to be damaged deeper. You have a dry area that will not be as healthy and permanent damage will happen quicker.

Have you ever sunburned on your knee where you had scraped the skin getting off the boat, and had a scab and wound area healing? How can our skin do its job without better treatment?

What About Sensation?

Your skin contains numerous sensory receptors.

These receptors allow us to feel touch. Or pressure and pain.

And temperature changes.

These sensory receptors enable us to safely interact with our environment.

Personal safety is important for us in the world we live in. We have to know what to avoid touching because it is hot, or cold. The sensation of water on your skin.

All these receptors can be affected by excessive sun exposure. These receptors are in the outer part of our bodies, and very close to the skin.

Skin damage to these can weaken the sensations and make you unaware that you are endangering your body.

Tanning addiction
Skin cancer

The Vitamin D Syntheses Issue

Are you aware of these other ways your skin protects your body from harm from the world around you?

There is Vitamin D synthesis. Our skin makes vitamin D when we expose ourselves to the sunlight. This is essential for bone health, and various other bodily functions.

Our bodies are usually very efficient and can produce this vitamin quickly when our skin is healthy. The sun shines on your bare arms and face for about 15 or so minutes 4 or so days a week, and you are good for vitamin C.

At least you are good if your skin is working properly. However, if you have damaged your skin, it may take longer to get your vitamin D production going.

The science is not precise on how long is needed, as we are all so different.

Our sun is always changing angles, and there are many moving factors. The time required is about the same as most people can safely expose their skin to the sun without protection and not sunburn.

Sunscreen is thought to slow down the synthesis. Sun Blocking Clothing blocks the sun completely.

You would sunburn if your face were the only place you got sun before you got enough exposure for long enough to make the Vitamin D you need.

So the middle ground of a healthy length of time getting sun on your bare arms and face in a controlled manner will get you going.

Have a time clock, and when the 15 minutes are up, cover up with clothing or sunscreen, or go in, and get out of the direct sun.

As welsome supplements cancan help meet your daily needs.

Healthy sweating from healthy skin

Healthy Skin Healthy Sweating

Healthy skin allows healthy excretion. Your sweat glands in your healthy skin eliminate waste products, such as urea and salt, from your body.

When your skin is overexposed to the sun, you may develop issues with sweating.

Sweating is important for body temperature regulation. If your ability to sweat is affected, your ability to regulate your internal temperature is weakened.

Early Aging, Smoking, Poor Skin Care

Overexposure to sunlight allows UV radiation from the sun to lead to sunburn, premature aging (wrinkles, age spots), and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Overexposure to harsh weather conditions with extreme temperatures, dry air, and cold winds can quickly strip your skin of its natural moisture. This leads to dryness, flakiness, and irritation.

Smoking damages the blood vessels in the skin, reduces oxygen and nutrient supply, and increases the risk of wrinkles and skin aging. This also slows any damage repair to your skin. Slows healing as well as natural cell turnover.

A poor skincare routine that doesn’t pay attention to cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection can leave the skin vulnerable to damage, infections, and breakouts.

Your choice of unhealthy lifestyle choices will leave you with less-than-healthy skin. Poor nutrition, inadequate hydration, excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of sleep can affect the overall health of the skin and make it more susceptible to damage.

Don’t overlook the medications you take when evaluating what is going on with your skin. Even over-the-counter medications can affect your skin’s reaction to the sun.

Using harsh soaps, cleansers, or cosmetics that contain chemicals can strip the skin of its natural oils and disrupt its protective barrier. Weakening the protective barrier will lead to dryness, irritation, or allergic reactions.

It’s important to take care of our skin by adopting a healthy skincare routine, protecting it from excessive sun exposure. Maintain a balanced lifestyle to promote your skin’s well-being and longevity.

Your skin is a remarkable organ with diverse functions that are vital for our overall health and well-being.


The Skin Microbiome

Human skin and its immune cells
The sensory neurons of touch

Tanning Addiction Leads to Skin Damage and Mutations

One last warning in this article about how excessive tanning damages your DNA in skin cells. This leads to mutations that can trigger abnormal cell growth.

These mutations can disrupt the normal control mechanisms of cell division and replication.

And this will potentially lead to the development of cancerous cells.

Tanning addicts, who subject their skin to repeated and intense UV exposure, are at a heightened risk of accumulating DNA damage and mutations in their skin cells.

Tanning addicts often disregard or neglect protective measures against UV radiation.

They may avoid using sunscreen, fail to wear protective clothing, or forego seeking shade.

By neglecting these precautions, tanning addicts further increase their vulnerability to skin cancer.

Sunscreen, protective clothing, and seeking shade are essential in reducing the harmful effects of UV radiation on the skin and lowering the risk of developing skin cancer.

“By the Time I Care About the Damage of Tanning They Will be Able to Make New Skin”

This story has the main character’s name changed, yes, to protect her identity. She lived in the town we lived in before we came to central Texas.

Cindy had been a tanning addict for several years. Constantly seeking that bronzed glow at any cost. Yes, she even made the statement that is the title for this section.

She regularly used tanning beds and spent hours sunbathing without adequate protection.

Over time, she began to notice the toll her tanning addiction had taken on her skin. Wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin texture became prominent. As she was no longer a cheerleader in high school or college. Now a young mom, she realized it was time for a change.

Determined to repair her damaged skin, Sarah embarked on a journey of recovery.

She sought guidance from dermatologists and skin care professionals, who helped her understand the extent of the damage.

And advised her of the possibilities for repair. Through their support and her determination, Sarah learned that while some damage was permanent.

She also learned there were ways to improve the appearance and health of her skin. And yes it was expensive.

Repairable Damage

Uneven skin tone: Cindy’s skin had developed patches of hyperpigmentation from excessive tanning.

With the help of targeted skincare products, such as topical creams containing ingredients like hydroquinone or retinoids, she was able to fade the dark spots gradually.

Over time, her skin tone became more even and radiant. And, even though there was still damage, she looked better. Yes, it was expensive.

Permanent Damage

Cindy’s skin had DNA damage. The DNA had been altered due to the intense UV exposure. When there is DNA damage, mutations on the skin are the normal result.

Cells will regrow and produce more skin, but not healthy smooth skin like you had.

While it is not possible to reverse these DNA mutations, Cindy learned that she could mitigate further damage. Adopting a diligent sun protection routine, and avoiding excessive sun exposure.

In other words, gives up on her deep tans.

This included wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.

Avoiding the sun during peak UV hours. And wearing protective clothing and accessories like wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.

Through her journey of recovery, Cindy learned that yes, some damage caused by her tanning addiction was permanent.

She also learned there were steps she could take to improve her skin’s appearance and protect it from further harm.

Cindy embraced a new mindset of self-care, focusing on nourishing her skin from within.

She began by adopting a healthy lifestyle, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress levels.

Cindy’s story serves as a reminder that it’s never too late to prioritize skin health and make positive changes.

By seeking professional guidance, adopting a comprehensive skincare routine, and being mindful of sun protection, individuals can work towards repairing their skin and minimizing further damage.

Will Cindy develop skin cancer in time? All we know is that a couple of years ago when we ran across her sister, she was skin cancer-free.

Tanning addiction can make a difference for skin cancer

Sami’s Take on Tanning Addiction and Skin Cancer Risks

Tanning addiction is sneaky and often hits a vernable person who is trying to mature. Most tanning addictions happen to young women from 18 to 34.

At this age, young women are searching for their place in society, and realizing their path in life.

If there are places they are unsure of, like self-worth, or have confidence in their appearance, often tanning addiction sneaks in the door.

Just as Cindy in the story shared above, she is moving into her place in the responsible adult world. She loved the confidence that her “cheerleading” world had brought her.

However, maturity, marriage, and motherhood were all causing her to doubt her future direction in life. Make her doubt her ability to do everything well.

She stressed about making the move on to a solid maturity in her new roles, or did she try to keep a foot in the door of the “Cheerleading” days?

At 33 years old, Cindy has permanent skin damage. She can see where this tanning life is taking her. Fortunately, she had good solid support from family and friends to move from one life to another.

Would she have been able to see the healthier path without the extra support she got? Maybe not. Our minds tell us lies all the time. Would she have continued believing she needed a tan to measure up?

If you recognize the signs in your life or a friend’s life would you continue to ignore the signs?

Food For Thought

One of the main reasons for people with even a mild tanning addiction to seek professional help? These people are often more inclined to other behaviors that can become addictive.

Professional help is so important for tanning addiction.

This article was written by Brenda Cartmel at Yale School Of Public Education and gives more insight into the complexity of tanning addiction.

I do follow through and do lots of research for the information I share here at, but I am not a trained professional.

Yes, I do have many years of living with tanning addiction results. Not everyone had access to tanning beds, thank goodness. Yes, I have seen addiction to tanning try to develop in members of my family.

I do think this gives our combined experience a side of this condition that is not found in professionals who have only studied and treated tanning addiction.

Thank you,


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