I have kept this a secret for a long time now. I can finally tell you about why I'll never use tanning beds again.
I used to tan all of the time. My grandma had a tanning bad so it was really easy for me to get my "fix." I thought tanning made me look good. I thought it made me look thin. And we all know my obsession about being thin. Just add tanning to the mix and you can tell that I was a hot mess back in the day.
But then a friend got skin cancer. I don't want to say her name to avoid invading her privacy, but it really opened my eyes. Cancer doesn't have an age. And even though I try to think I am a super hero, Cancer can kill me. Bring me down.
I stopped going to tanning beds all together and started carrying at least spf 15 with me every where I went. I was pretty proactive about protecting myself from the rays. I stopped using tanning oils too. I don't want to have wrinkly skin when I am old anyway.
Flash forward to a month ago. I posted a comment on my Facebook page that people who use a tanning bed before the age of 30 years old are 70 percent more likely to develop skin cancer than those who don't tan. Statistics are statistics though. And you can't always rely on them because so many varaibles matter when trying to generalize a study or gathered data to an entire population.
But my friend posted a comment that said people who tan are happier and that even doctors recommend patients who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) to tan in the winter months.
So I caved. After three years of not sliding into a tanning bed, I jumped back in. Oh, it felt so good. I got dark and people complimented me on the how bright I looked. I had a glow about me -- yeah it was called ultraviolet rays.
All was well until I realized that I could have skin cancer and I made an appt. to see a dermatologist. A blog was posted about that previously and I got news I am SKIN CANCER FREE! Yay! :)
But little did I know skin cancer isn't the only thing you can get from a tanning bed.
I started to itch. Badly. To the point where every part of my body was itching...legs, arms, back, butt -- you name it, I itched it.
Oh, its just dry skin.
Nope, the itching kept going on and on and getting worse and worse.
Scabies. I got freaking scabies from the tanning bed.
Reason number two I'll never tan again in my life....scabies. Reason number one is skin cancer. But scabies is a close second...talk about unbearable. I had bruises all over my body from itching so hard and so often.
Moral of the story, be pale. Its better than itching your ass on every tree you walk by or even worse, being a chemo patient. We aren't super heroes. Cherish your body.