FDA seeks to issue ban on indoor tanning for teens Originally posted by USA Today on December 18, 2015
Tanning beds will be off limits for teenagers and children if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its way.
Proposed regulations made public Friday by the FDA would ban children under 18 from patronizing indoor tanning facilities and would require adult customers to sign strongly-worded new consent forms every six months.The FDA says tanning beds and sun lamps can cause skin cancer, burns and eye damage.
The public has 90 days to comment on the new rules. After that, the FDA could make them official.
“Today’s action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms,” acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff said in a statement. “Individuals under 18 years are at greatest risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning.”
The proposed regulations also require new safety features, including easier-to-read warnings and emergency shut-off “panic buttons.”
Medical groups immediately applauded the aggressive moves, which come about 18 months after the FDA put new warning labels on the devices used by millions of people each year at tens of thousands of tanning salons, health clubs and other facilities. About 1.6 million of those users are minors, FDA said.
Indoor tanners are 59% more likely than non-users to develop melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
The proposed rules are “a monumental step to protect the public’s health,” said academy president Mark Lebwohl. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said the changes would reduce skin cancer cases and save lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics said the proposal “sends a loud and clear message: tanning beds are dangerous and should not be used by anyone under age 18.”
“Fifteen or 20 years ago, it was very unusual to see someone their 30s with a melanoma, and now we constantly see women in their late teens and 20s with melanoma and almost all of them have an extensive tanning bed history,” said Darrell Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University. The tanning ban on minors could prevent many such cases in the future, he said.
“This is a free country, so as an adult, you can make these decisions, just as you can choose to smoke,” Rigel said. “But minors need to be protected.”
Eleven states and Washington, D.C., already ban indoor tanning by minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The Indoor Tanning Association, representing many tanning bed manufacturers and salon owners, said in a statement that the proposed rules are unneeded: “The indoor tanning industry is heavily regulated at both the federal and state levels and our customers are well aware of the potential risks of over exposure.” The group said that “the decision regarding whether or not a teen suntans, whether indoors or outside, is a decision for his/her parents, not the government.”
Another industry group, The American Suntanning Association, said requiring adults to sign a form acknowledging the risks of tanning every six months “smacks of both government overreach and harassment.” It also said many of the proposed safety standards for tanning equipment already are in place or endorsed by the industry.
Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the second most common cancer in young adults 15 to 29 years old and the leading cause of cancer death in women 25 to 30 years old. In the radio PSA, “Tanning Doesn’t Make You,” four young women explain to their peers that tanning doesn’t make them who they are; it only makes them more at risk for things like wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer.
Dermatologists warn: Don’t let skin cancer sneak up on you originally posted by the American Academy of Dermatology on August 30, 2015:
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Aug. 31, 2015) — As summer draws to a close and children head back to school, many parents are doing everything they can to ensure a healthy school year by scheduling physical exams and making sure vaccinations are up to date. But are parents taking care of themselves? Board-certified dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology say that skin cancer – the most common cancer in the United States – can sneak up on anyone, including busy parents.
“As a mom, I understand how easily parents’ health can take a back seat to the needs of the family,” said board-certified dermatologist Doris Day, MD, FAAD, clinical associate professor of dermatology, NYU School of Medicine/Langone Medical Center, New York. “However, it’s important to value your own health and well-being as well as your children’s. Take a few minutes – even if it’s right after you shower or while you’re putting on your pajamas in the evening – to check your skin regularly for the signs of skin cancer. It could save your life.”
To help people spot skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable, dermatologists are urging everyone – including busy parents – to learn the ABCDEs of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer:
A – is for Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
B – is for Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.
C – is for Color that varies from one area to another.
D – is for Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.
E – is for Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
A new video from the Academy – Can you spot skin cancer? – emphasizes the importance of regularly checking your skin. The video uses ultraviolet technology to show the sun damage hidden underneath people’s skin. Since you can’t see the sun damage under your skin, checking your skin regularly can help you spot skin cancer when it’s most treatable.
“Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and one person dies of melanoma every hour,” said board-certified dermatologist Ellen S. Marmur, MD, FAAD, associate clinical professor of dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. “Check your skin regularly, and if you see anything that is changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment right away to see a board-certified dermatologist.”
For hard-to-see areas, such as the back, dermatologists recommend finding someone you trust, such as a spouse or family member, to help you check your skin.
For more information about how to prevent and detect skin cancer, visit the Academy website SpotSkinCancer.org. There, you can download a body mole map for tracking changes in your skin and find free SPOTme ® skin cancer screenings in your area. SPOT Skin Cancer ™ is the Academy’s campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promotes the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 18,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).