The Perfect Tan
By: Michelle Meier
The Duxbury High School prom will be held on May 17th, and many DHS girls attending the dance are looking to get the perfect prom night glow. The most popular methods of tanning are sun bathing, spray tans, tanning beds and at home tanning lotions are the most popular methods of tanning.
Junior Jackie S. said, “I go tanning, because it feels nice and looks more natural.” Senior Lauren M. said she would most likely get a spray tan because it is more even. Junior Meghan P. said she would prefer to get a spray tan before prom because, “I don’t want to look pale, [and] I think tanning beds are gross because people normally don’t wear clothes in them.”
Many students seem unaware that some of these methods of tanning are considered dangerous than others. Skin cancer such as Melanoma is caused by too much ecposure to sunlight and the ultraviolet (UV) rays from tanning beds. Duxbury plastic surgeon Dr. Hamori warns, “The tan may look good now but not in your 40s or 50s. The aging changes are irreversible and most damage is done under the age of 20.”
Students who know the risk of using tanning beds and sunbathing are opting to get spray tans. Junior Meghan S.said she would rather get a spray tan before prom because it’s not as bad for your skin. However, spray tans can also be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a chemical called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) can be found in most spray tans. Once inhaled, DHA can be absorbed by your lungs and carried into your bloodstream making the person breathing DHA more at risk to cancer of the lungs, breast or colon.
Some DHS students are also choosing to go to prom in their natural skin color. Senior Maddy B. is not planning on getting a tan before prom and said, “I don’t care if I am tan or not at prom…the idea of spray painting your body is weird and tanning beds can cause skin cancer.” Junior Isabelle F. also said she would not be getting a spray tan before prom because she felt spray tans look orange and tanning beds were not healthy.
Contrary to popular belief the majority of DHS men do not care much about the skin tone of their prom date. Junior CJ R. said girls should not be putting themselves at risk for a tan and are “fine as is.” Junior Dan C. said, “I don’t see the issue going twice to a tanning booth, but I don’t think spray tans are attractive.”
Tanning for prom is not the only time students should be aware of their skin. DHS school nurse Mrs. Malone recommends students wear nothing lower than SPF 30 and apply it 30 minutes before going outside. Mrs. Malone said, “Wear a hat that covers your cheeks, neck, ears and scalp. Sunglasses with UV protection and loose fitting clothing that covers the arms and legs.” Dr. Hamori said, “Sun screen should contain zinc or titanium dioxide as these are more effective at blocking the damaging rays than the chemical based sunscreens.” Protection from the sun is especially important for students with a family history of skin cancer. RN BSN Research and Triage Nurse Kelly M. Fink said, “Ask your parents “do we have a family history of skin cancer?” If the answer is yes [students] should avoid being in the sun without protection.”