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Cure for Guidos – Tanning Beds = Skin Cancer = Goodbye

Posted By: The Annotico Report, Italia Mia Network on July 6, 2010 in Annotico Report, Italy - Comments: No Comments »

In February,  a "tanning intervention" was made for the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore." Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff, a clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Medical Center and senior vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, showed the seriously bronzed reality-show stars photos of cancerous moles she'd removed from young patients — and a head shot of a 27-year-old Italian-American woman who'd died of melanoma after regularly using a tanning bed.
The self-described "guidos" and "guidettes" were seemingly aghast and vowed to switch to spray tanning. But they have since relapsed. Fortunately, if the  Cancer doesn't get them, Premature Aging, and wrinkling like a Prune is the Alternative.  


'Jersey Shore' and the Dark Side of Too Much Tanning
The New Jersey Record; Virginia Rohan; Tuesday, July 6, 2010
In February, "Extra" staged a "tanning intervention" for the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore."
Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff, a clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Medical Center and senior vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, showed the seriously bronzed reality-show stars photos of cancerous moles she'd removed from young patients — and a head shot of a 27-year-old Italian-American woman who'd died of melanoma after regularly using a tanning bed.
The self-described "guidos" and "guidettes" were seemingly aghast and vowed to switch to spray tanning.
But they've since been photographed sunning, and in a preview clip from season two, which kicks off July 29, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi blasts the fact that Obama's health care reform bill included a 10 percent federal tax on indoor tanning, which went into effect last Thursday. She blamed that (not health concerns) for why she switched to spray tan.
"The sad thing is, I think they've relapsed," says Sarnoff. "These 'Jersey Shore' kids are in a lot of ways role models for the young kids coming up. … When they do their little thing about gym, tanning, young kids are very impressionable at that age, and they equate that with cool."
Dr. Jonathan Blume, a Westwood dermatologist who has treated patients in their 20s for melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma, agrees. "Unfortunately, what we see on TV tends to be sometimes more powerful than the message you get from the doctor," he says. "And right now, being tan is still in style."
Until the Roaring Twenties, the style was to preserve one's natural skin color, as sunburns and tans were something field laborers got.
By many accounts, the tan-is-beautiful trend started in 1923, when French designer Coco Chanel was photographed leaving an aristocrat's yacht with a deep suntan. By then, many people were working indoors and envying the rich, who were playing outdoors.
Today, parents know to slather their children in sunblock, and many grown-ups have gotten the message about the dangers of ultraviolet radiation — both UVB rays, which causes sunburn, skin damage and potentially skin cancer, and deeper-penetrating UVA rays, which the indoor tanning industry claims are safer but doctors say penetrate deeper to cause damage.
Looks can be deceiving
And yet, the concept that a tan looks healthy prevails.
Although spray-on glows and self-bronzers are, as far as they can tell, safe, doctors say, actual tanning, especially the indoor variety, is anything but healthy. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, "a review of seven studies found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who had been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning before the age of 35."
Dermatologists would like to see indoor tanning undergo an image change similar to that of cigarette smoking, which has gone from glamorous-looking pastime to dangerous addiction.
Nonetheless, they acknowledge that it's an uphill battle against the indoor tanning industry, which vigorously rebuts the health risks.
"There have been quite a few studies on the relationship between indoor tanning devices and melanoma and the science is all over the place. The vast majority, probably two-thirds, show no relationship," says John Overstreet, executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association, which represents some 19,000 tanning salons in the U.S.
"They have to make it sound much worse and much more definitive than it actually is, in order to get the attention of people."
Indoor tanning gets lots of free publicity from reality TV stars, and not only those on "Jersey Shore." On Style Network's "Jerseylicious," for example, one young woman is so addicted to indoor tanning, that she goes from salon to salon so she can exceed the recommended exposure.
Reckless exposure
"It's so dangerous and she's just clueless," says Kate White, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, which has run more than 20 articles as part of an ongoing "Practice Safe Sun" campaign and did an undercover tanning-bed investigation with "20/20" recently.
"It's like she's trying to convince young people to smoke, because tanning beds are now classified as a carcinogen." White was mobilized by a radio story she heard in 2005 about how melanoma had become the second most prevalent cancer for women in their 20s.
"It's now No. 1, but at the time it was No. 2, and I was shocked, because you sort of think [of] melanoma as something you get as you age," says White..
There are signs of progress.
White says she no longer sees that "deep-tan" look on the models that come into Cosmo or appear in magazine ads, nor on people she sees in New York City. She also cites the popularity of creamy-skinned actresses Carey Mulligan (the upcoming "Wall Street" sequel) and the "Twilight" saga's Kristen Stewart.
Spray tanner on site
The message even seems to have reached some corners of the reality world. ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," for example, has a professional spray tanner and a makeup artist who does "tan sculpting" for cast members.
And Mahwah's Jaqueline Madden of VH1's "You're Cut Off!" says she used to "tan a lot" in indoor beds, but switched to "personalized spray tanning" because of news stories about links to skin cancer and premature aging.
"I'm 23 and there are girls my age that are dying of melanoma. It's very scary," says Madden, an actress and singer, who also worries about wrinkles. "When I'm 30, I don't want to look like I'm 50. I want to look like I'm 20."

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