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Dermatology & Skin Health Joins the Fight to Ban Underage Tanning


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Dermatology and Skin Health feels very strongly in protecting people from ultraviolet radiation -- be those rays from the sun, or from tanning beds. As well they should. After all located in Dover, N.H., Dermatology and Skin Health provides care and treatment for conditions of the skin, hair and nails for patients of all ages.

Eleven states now prohibit indoor tanning for minors younger than age 18 (see stats below).

On Jan. 22, Laurie Seavey, practice manager for Dermatology and Skin Health, went to the N.H. Statehouse in Concord, N.H., to testify at the public hearing for  House Bill 0136. HB 0136 makes it unlawful for a person under age 18 to use a tanning device at a registered tanning facility in this state.

Seavey says, "This was my first time speaking on behalf of a House Bill. This topic was so important to us, and we are very passionate about it. As DSH knows and spreads the word, pale is the new tan, but it’s not easy to get that point across, especially to minors in search of that ‘healthy’ glow.

As it now stands, New Hampshire (along with Delaware and North Dakota) “ban the use of indoor tanning by anyone under age 14 unless medically necessary—subsequently requiring parental accompaniment and parental consent for those between 14 and 18 years of age. At least 23 states require operators to limit exposure time to manufacturers’ recommendations and provide eye protection. Along with requiring parental permission for minors, Arizona also requires public schools to provide education about risks to developing skin cancer.” (National Conference of State Legislatures site - http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/indoor-tanning-restrictions.aspx )

The following skin cancer facts, which pertain to indoor tanning salons, and help support the approval of HB 0136, are from The Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • As of Sept. 2, 2014, ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices were reclassified by the FDA from class I (low to moderate risk) to class II (moderate to high risk) devices.
  • An estimated 1,957 indoor tanners landed in US emergency rooms in 2012 after burning their skin or eyes, fainting or suffering other injuries.
  • Eleven states now prohibit indoor tanning for minors younger than age 18: California, Vermont, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Washington, Minnesota, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Delaware.
  • 13 percent of high school students have indoor-tanned in the past year, including over 27 percent of 12th grade females and almost 31 percent of non-Hispanic white females.
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent.
  • Nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the U.S. every year. Two to three million of them are teens.
  • The indoor tanning industry has annual estimated revenue of $5 billion.
  • People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.
  • Seventy-one percent of tanning salon patrons are females.
  • On an average day, more than one million Americans use tanning salons.

As of the time this blog went live, HB 0136 was in committee. Dermatology and Skin Health is confident that it will be passed, and movement furthering prevention of the damage ultraviolet rays can cause will progress.

As the premier dermatology practice in the Seacoast area, Dermatology and Skin Health pride itself on the comprehensive medical, cosmetic and surgical services it offers patients of all ages its state of the art facility conveniently located on Central Avenue in Dover, NH across from Wentworth - Douglass Hospital.