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By Christina Lorenzen
The spotlight is on tanning salons again with new laws. In Suffolk, anyone under 14 is banned from using sun beds and teens 14 to 18 must be accompanied by a parent. In Nassau, everybody under 18 needs signed parent approval. Parents must accompany teens under 16.
There’s good reason for this. “Melanoma is on the rise, and in the 15 to 20 age group, it’s the number one cause of cancer death,” says Joshua Fox M.D., a dermatologist in Roslyn. “Tanning beds are dangerous to teen skins rapid cellular activity.”
He says teens are also likely to be using an acne medication for which there are no warnings about possible side effects of tanning.
“Offer your teen alternatives such as bronzing creams. They need to know that there’s no such thing as safe tan,” Dr. Fox says. Teens should use sun screen and pay attention to skin changes like color, shape and size of moles which should be checked by a dermatologist.”