How the Process of Tanning Affects Skin

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Attention-getter: How many of you have forgotten to put suntan lotion on while at the beach or tanned in a bed longer than your skin could handle and have resulted in a reddish/purplish, totally unattractive color? Well, I’ll admit, I’ve done both… Thesis: Every time a person comes in contact with ultraviolet radiation they increase the chance of having pre-mature aging, skin cancer, and/or serious eye damage, due to not enough UV protection. Preview: Today I am going to talk to you about the negative effects of tanning, whether it is from natural sunlight or a tanning bed. First, I’m going to inform you about the background facts of ultraviolet rays (what they are, where they come from and why they are so dangerous). Next, I want to tell you how those UVRs specifically damage a person’s skin. Lastly, I would like to tell you how UVRs damage the eyes, as well. Main Point 1: Let’s start by defining what an ultraviolet ray is. To understand what UVRs are, you first need to know where they come from. According to Narayanan and the International Journal of Dermatology (Skin Cancer article), UVRs are part of an electromagnetic radiation spectrum, part of sunlight, along with visible and infrared light. Ultraviolet is considered the most significant on the spectrum because it causes skin cancers and photo aging. These rays are broken up into two main types, UVA and UVB rays. UVA has long wavelengths, while UVB has shorter wavelengths. Most of UVA reaches the earth’s surface and penetrates the skin more deeply, which causes tanning and aging of the skin. On the other hand, not nearly as much UVB reaches the earth’s surface but is responsible for the harmful burning of the skin and causes of cancer. Schmidt of Environmental Health Perspectives (Tanning bed article), states that artificial tanning became popular during the 1980’s, but has been increasing significantly since then. An estimated number of 28 million people use tanning beds in the United States. When people...
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