Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Recently I needed to replace my daily moisturizer. I bought 3 at a time last time because there was a good sale. Unfortunately, I am guessing because it was kind of old, my last jar suddenly separated and was unusable. I was ill prepared with a back-up stash. So I ventured to the local drug store to see what I could get that would be acceptable until I could afford a better brand. Little did I know what a challenge it would be to get a decent, reasonably priced, moisturizer. Brand after brand touted itself to be the best, but ultimately only listed it’s primary function as sunscreen. I was looking for something that would reduce the appearance of wrinkles, even tone and texture and keep my skin fresh and young. Every tube/jar/bottle I picked up said it was a daily moisturizer, yet when I looked on the back under directions and uses; it's only listed use as sunscreen and not one word about wrinkles and improving skin. 

Now, I already have make-up foundation with SPF and I am ok with that, I don’t need it in my other face products. If I wanted sunscreen, I would buy sunscreen. If SPF is an “added bonus” to the function of a product, (as it is with my foundation) I can be ok with that too. It  doesn’t bother me too much if there is some other so called “benefit” if the main function is what I want. I want the reduced wrinkles, improved tone and texture, and youthful appearance to be the star, not the side note. These products didn’t even make the effort to list the side note. They dedicated every inch of space to promote use as a sunscreen and some also went to the trouble of stating on the package that it reduces the risk of skin cancer and recommended limiting any sun exposure.

Honestly, I feel like there is constant overstatement on the benefit of SPF. Don’t get me wrong. There is a need for it at times. But doubled up between moisturizer and foundation, daily? Why is that necessary? What about the days that the sun isn’t out, what about the fact that I am indoors most of my regular work week? I think I can manage to put sunscreen on separately when it is called for, like when I am at the park, not when I am sitting at my desk for 8 hours. SPF doesn’t really need to be in every single product and doesn’t need to be the biggest selling point of any product except sunscreen.

Think about what sunscreen does. It blocks your skin from functioning in a way it was designed. This is why we are seeing so many people deficient in Vitamin D and people are resorting to supplements. We have been brainwashed to believe the sun is bad and will kill us if we expose our skin for even one minute. This is ridiculous. While there is a time and a place for protecting our skin from the sun, there is also a need for UV exposure to improve our health. The goal should be moderate non burning UV exposure and avoid overexposure. These products, the message from the cosmetic industry and dermatologists is to avoid any and all UV. They want you to think that having unprotected skin is a sure fire sentence to death by melanoma. That isn’t true. Science doesn’t support that concept. No one would have survived in the years where people were outdoors more than indoors and before the invention of sunscreen. Humanity would be extinct. 

P.S. I'm back! Visit regularly, I have a few more thoughts on sunshine, tanning, sunscreen, and UV exposure to share. Thanks for reading. I know this is a bit rusty... hopefully getting back into the swing of things will get my writing brain back in shape.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Personal Note: I have been absent for many months if you hadn’t noticed. I have had a parental nightmare going on so I neglected this blog with good reason. But some of my experience in dealing with my daughter’s health crisis is appropriate to write about here. I have decided to stay on topic of this blog’s theme in this post, and I will go into detail about my daughter’s condition in a separate post for those interested.

Way back in June 2014, my (then) 12 year old daughter had some hives that we couldn’t quite get to go away, and we could not figure out what was causing them. She had other health complaints which I will get into later. The hives would come and go and we gave her Benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec to combat them. The meds would work for a day or two and then the hives would reappear.  She had them on her arms and legs and we tried using a sensitive skin laundry detergent, we were trying to track if it was worse after eating certain foods. We couldn’t figure it out. She had a patch of skin on the inside of her arm where the elbow bends that was raised and calloused. That skin was very itchy compared to the hives. That skin never cleared up like the hives did with allergy medicine and it spread along the inside of her arm. It then spread in a linear pattern down her arm and up the back of her arm around the back of her shoulder up over her shoulder and down her chest. The doctors we went to could not diagnose it and referred us to a Dermatologist.

In August, we went to the Dermatologist recommended by the Pediatrician we saw. This was not a Pediatric Dermatologist and I regretted the decision to see this doctor the minute we walked in. In the waiting room, there was a loop of “facts” on the TV monitors which focused on a few skin conditions, but of course, tanning beds were the ones that popped up the most often. I filled out a questionnaire for the “doctor” about my daughter’s habits; there were 4 questions specifically about tanning bed use. Not one question about sunburns from overexposure outdoors, sensitivity to sun, nothing about working outdoors, just have you ever used a tanning bed, how often, how long ago was your last visit and such. Then there was a question, and I quote, “Do you use sunscreen on a DAILY basis?” Not only did I circle no as the answer…. I circled it 20 times and added in parenthesis “use when necessary”. Daily basis? Are you kidding me? I thought my eyes were going to roll out of my head and we hadn’t even SEEN the “doctor” yet.

Once we were called into the exam room, things got worse.  There were poster sized pictures of melanoma lesions plastered all over the wall. There were more anti tanning posters and flyers. My daughter was very uncomfortable and completely grossed out by it all. She looked at the floor the entire time we were there. I am almost certain there are a few other skin conditions that Dermatologists treat… but judging by the walls in that room, skin cancer was all there was. It really wasn’t an environment of comfort like other doctor offices aspire to achieve. Scare tactics of worst possible cases isn’t the best way to ease a patient’s mind, especially if that patient is a child.

The “doctor” came in and spoke to us briefly, mistook Tieryen’s aversion to look up as being shy and went on with her exam of her rash… the doctor was puzzled by it, took pictures of it and immediately wanted to take a biopsy of it right then and there. We told the doctor she was scheduled for a procedure at the hospital the following day and that she would be under general anesthesia, so if she felt a biopsy would be necessary, we would prefer to have it done when she is in the hospital. The doctor said she didn’t have rights at the hospital we were going to and pushed for us to do it there in her office. We again declined and told her the doctor we are working with had offered to have someone else do the biopsy and he would consult with her when the results came back. He also would like to consult with her about the exam she was currently doing in order to get all input on what was going on with Tieryen. She reluctantly agreed, recommended a topical cream for her rash and sent us on our way with a “goody bag” full of free sample products. As we were checking out with the desk, they asked if we wanted to purchase any of the products they had. Wait, did I just attend some Mary Kay party or something? When was the last time you went to a doctor appointment and then were offered to buy products from the office? And they were just skin products. It wasn’t like they were offering the cream she prescribed. It was bizzare. Apparently it isn’t unusual in Dermatologist land to have a retail store of products. It is just further proof that they are in bed with the cosmetic industry, and that is why they push SPF daily, they are salespeople for Neutrogena and the like.  I couldn’t wait to get out of there. My distaste for dermatology intensified that day. The entire visit lasted about 20 minutes and she gave us absolutely no answer to what was going on with my daughter’s skin. It was a complete waste of time and money. I still have the “goody bag” of products that are untouched. What a scam.

The rash on her arm did clear up when she had treatment for her disease. Once that treatment stopped, the rash started to aggressively return. We were referred to another dermatologist, this time a pediatric one, and she was able to diagnose the rash as Lichen Striatus. We were told it was rare and has unknown causes. There is no research being done on it and it generally goes away on it’s own anywhere from 1-2 years. While I did like the second dermatologist more, (the office wasn’t as offensive with propaganda/pictures of gross skin conditions, and there were only 2 questions that were uncalled for on the form I filled out,) we still had no treatment, only a diagnosis in the sense that we knew what to call it now.

What I came away with from both dermatologist experiences is that dermatology has no interest whatsoever in researching unknown rashes such as this and the answer is a simple shrug of the shoulders and a recommendation to wait it out until it goes away. If it isn’t skin cancer, they don’t seem to want to invest their time. They don’t bother learning about these conditions, so when they do see them, the first thing they want to do is cut into the skin and figure it out. While I understand this approach is a good way to learn and get good information,  I don’t believe it is completely necessary each and every time they come across something out of the ordinary.  Once we got the diagnosis of Lichen Striatus, we googled it and found a lot more information about it on our own than what either so called specialist knew.  If our Hematologist had that kind of attitude, my daughter would not be alive today. He worked day and night to figure out what was wrong with her.  He didn’t just say, “Wait it out and hope it clears up on it’s own.”

Another recent interaction I had with a dermatologist proved to me that there is a sense of self-importance and misunderstanding of how damaging their message can be. What I mean by that is the ignorance of how the constant message of avoiding any and all sun has been repeated so often, the general public believes this is good advice, and by following it we are endangering ourselves of so many illnesses associated with Vitamin D deficiency.  I spoke with a dermatologist at an outdoor event a few weeks back. He was there selling sunscreen products and preaching about how important it is to wear all the time. He did not know his own Vitamin D level and when asked, he said, “Here in Colorado, we do not really see a lot of cases of Vitamin D deficiency, it isn’t an issue because our state is so sunny.” He also said that he really didn’t know how long a person needs to be in the sun to get Vitamin D, but he had heard it was less than a half hour. He made no mention of how a person’s skin type is what would need to be taken into account. No mention that a fairer skinned person like me would take less time than someone with darker skin tones. When that point was made, he didn’t have anything to say either in agreement or disagreement. It was like he hadn’t thought of it that way before, or didn’t know. Someone who specializes in skin should have a better understanding of skin types and know that information. 

I feel that dermatologists are illogical when they push for legislation to regulate tanning salons. They testify that the sun is dangerous and how UV causes skin cancer.  Then they turn around and administer phototherapy to patients using UV equipment, just like tanning beds used in salons, and they intentionally burn the skin as a treatment for psoriasis. Therefore increasing that patient’s risk of damage and issues associated with overexposure.  They then charge insurance companies and patients hundreds of dollars for that phototherapy treatment. Tanning salons offer the same UV light, without burning, at a lower cost to the patient and limit exposure based on skin type to minimize risks.  No wonder they want salons regulated and limited or outright banned, they are the competition.  The strategy is to misinform people that UV is dangerous unless done by their practice and they want to convince lawmakers that they are the ones being responsible.
So after saying all of that, I feel I should also state that I do believe that Dermatology is needed, but not to the extent of what dermatologists themselves recommend. Skin cancer is very real and there certainly should be treatment and specialists dealing with it. The dermatologists I have encountered want us to believe we ALL should go to them for regular checkups and cancer screenings, just like we would a general practitioner for an annual physical. Would you go to a Cardiologist or a Hematologist every year if you had no history of heart issues or cancer?  They say we all should wear sunscreen every day, even if the sun isn’t shining. They warn us about skin cancer over and over. But there are many, many other skin conditions that they should also focus on, or at least familiarize themselves with, yet they ignore. It seems….Illogical.

Wow, I had a lot to say and I apologize that I did ramble a bit, and I wish it flowed better between my daughter’s story and the other experiences I’ve had with the profession. (You should have seen what this was like before I edited it.) I would like to invite you to read my next post that I will publish in the next few days (hopefully, currently it is twice as long as this rambling post.) about my daughter’s diagnosis and disease.  I truly believe that by sharing this story, more people will know about HLH. And the more aware we are, the better the chances of diagnosis and survival and eventually a cure.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Improper Propaganda

Recently I have seen an increase in anti-tanning messages circulating on line. I suppose with Spring and Prom season here, the “no UV is good UV” "Avoid any and all UV" and "There's no such thing as a safe/good tan" messages are being shouted and spewed once again with no regard for a balanced message of moderation. Here is an example of what I have seen:

The purpose of this is to shock and frighten people. But this information is misleading and inaccurate. The creator of this lie wants you as a reader to believe what they are saying without question. Where is the balanced message? The fact that this one in particular was posted on a major health insurance provider’s social media page makes it even more frustrating. The information in this is being considered by many who see it as true and fact due to that source. To me, that is an incredibly irresponsible post. Let’s look at what this says, versus reality.

"Melanoma kills 1 person each hour". I really don’t know where this particular statistic came from. I haven’t seen it used before.  It could be true 24 per day 365 days a year that’s about 8,700 people per year. But if you factor in the world’s population is over 7 billion, it gives a more accurate perspective on the whole picture. If the 1 million new cases per year they claim on this is accurate, it would seem that Melanoma, while it can be deadly, can be survivable, 1 million diagnosis, 8,700 deaths.  Statistics show that skin cancer affects about 3-4 percent of the population, and of that, Melanoma accounts for less than 1 percent. Those statistics do not grab your attention though do they? Saying Melanoma kills 8700 people a year isn’t as dramatic as saying it kills every hour.   That is not to say that Melanoma is not serious. I absolutely believe it is. I just don’t believe it can be blamed on responsible use of tanning beds.

This “informative” meme suggests that all Melanoma is linked only to tanning bed use. As if by simply staying out of tanning beds, we could eradicate Melanoma all together.  I think we can all agree that there are cases of skin cancer and Melanoma that have been found in people who have never set foot in a tanning salon. Not everyone who has skin cancer tans, not everyone who tans has skin cancer. They do not equate and should not be linked as often as they are. There are other risk factors that they fail to mention. People who have family history, or an unusually high number of moles, and very fair skin, are a few things that contribute to the likelihood of skin cancer. Not responsible sunbed use.

The claim that 15 minutes in a tanning bed is equivalent to a full day at the beach simply isn’t true. Sunbeds are 2-3 times more intense than the sun.  15 minutes would not equal a full day; there is no math that would make that equation work. Take into consideration that there are safety measures in a professional salon. There are maximum exposure times on every tanning bed level. There are also limits on how long and how often a person tans based on their own skin type.  The exposure limits are meant to give UV doses that are well under what would induce sunburn. The limits vary based on the customer’s skin type and what level bed they use, and takes into account where the customer is in a tanning regimen, or if that person has been tanning regularly for a period of time. For example:  You will not go in on your first visit and get in the highest level bed for the maximum allowed minutes for your skin type. Trained technicians would set your exposure times to gradually build up a tan. Salons want to help their customers tan safely. It would be counterproductive to not follow these safety measures.

So why is it so hard to just state facts about responsible UV exposure? Why can’t the message this insurance company promotes be that we should avoid sunburn and be smart about UV? Why are they promoting no UV at all instead of moderation? This irresponsible message is leading us to global epidemic rates of Vitamin D deficiency. People are scared to go out in the sun for fear of getting cancer. These lies are putting us at risk for health issues and diseases associated with Vitamin D deficiency.  It isn’t balanced, and those that follow their advice to avoid any and all UV, are in danger of over 100 other diseases, including cancer.  The simplest solution would be to promote a healthy approach of regular, moderate, non-burning UV exposure in some way. But instead they choose to use scare tactics, lies and misleading information to generate panic.

I think the thing that frustrates me the most is that this kind of propaganda circulates and is taken as the truth. Generally, I think very few people would look into this to fact check the claims it makes. I feel many people take this as so called “common knowledge” because the anti-tanning /anti-UV message has been drilled into our heads for so long.  I wish there were a bigger voice of reason to reach the masses. 

****Personal note to my readers, (and apparently there are a few, I have seen activity on this blog during my hiatus) thank you for sticking with me. I’m back and hope to continue posting to this blog regularly. My focus will shift at times as some content will be dealing with my daughter’s recent diagnosis of HLH.****

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pardon My Absence

Hello Readers,

I am so sorry I have been completely inactive since July 2014. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a very serious, life threatening disease in early September. I just wanted to post a quick "howdy" so you know I am still around, but my focus has shifted these past few months. Once things settle down in my household I have quite a few things to cover here in this blog. Until then, feel free to brush up on your Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) knowledge. This is the disease my 13 year old has been fighting.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Greetings from the Other Side of 45

I have 2 points I want to make this week because I couldn’t decide which one to focus on so let’s talk about age and genetics.  Don’t fight it, it can’t be controlled.


Yes, I turned 46 this week. I am another year older, wiser, and healthier. I started thinking about how I am often told that I do not look old enough to have kids in their mid-twenties. When I tell people my age they are very surprised and many say things like, “I would have thought you were much younger/ You look so young/ I thought you were early thirties.”

 I don’t mean to brag, but I do look younger than I am.  I had many comments on pictures I post on facebook that my skin looks so nice, and I do not look my age. Some have asked me what my secrets are. It got me thinking about how often I see comments and beauty articles talking about how wrinkled and old tanning makes you. They use it as a warning, “Protect yourself from the damaging sun” and “If you tan, your skin becomes leathery and it ages you” I don’t believe that is completely true. I do believe excessive UV exposure will do that. But how many people really go that far? Sure, there are people who take things to the extreme, but, as with everything, they should not be viewed as the typical tanner. They do not represent the majority of us.  I have been tanning for over 2 years, I know people my age who have tanned for many years, I know people my age who have never tanned. The tanners do not look disproportionately older and the non-tanners don’t look smooth and younger. Generally speaking, we all look a little older than we did a few years back, but nothing unusual about the aging between the 3 categories.


I was approached by someone recently who has a fairer skin tone than me. This person wanted to know about my tanning experience because she was thinking about giving it a try. She is tired of being so pale and she burns when she is in the sun. This person is a skin type 1 and shouldn’t tan and I told her so. She was very disappointed with my answer and once I asked why she was thinking about tanning, she said she wants to have darker skin. I recommended she look into spray tanning since her goal is color, and she would only burn in a sunbed. As a skin type 1, she doesn’t have other options; her genetic make-up just won’t allow it.

I understand her frustration, even though I do tan, I am still very fair, my tan is barely noticeable.

I am posting a picture I took just a week or two ago. (I am on the edge of 46 here, do I look it?) Not a great pic of me, but I chose this one because you can see my “tan line” You can see that I am not freakishly dark, I have a bit more color on my neck, face and arms, the square neckline of where my tank top normally covers shows that my non tanned skin is just that, not tan. That is my fair skin color. You can see there is not a drastic difference between the two. I am posting it to show that my tan skin is not ever going to be as dark as someone who is a skin type 3 or 4, but I do get color, unlike a skin type 1. We have to take what we are given from nature when it comes to our skin type. This is the sort of thing that the staff at a professional salon is trained to know and they can help each skin type without burning them.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What A Healthy Vitamin D Range Means To Me

I have been telling my story for 2 years or so. I have been writing mostly about the misconceptions the general public seem to have about tanning, and tanners. I have been motivated to tell the other side of the story and I feel like my focus has been on de-bunking the common arguments against tanning. I think it is time to go a bit more into detail about how my life and my health has improved since raising my Vitamin D levels. 

First and foremost, I am not in constant pain anymore.  I dislocated my knee in 2005 and it never felt right after that. I chalked it up to being older and unable to fully recover. It was painful to do much of anything, all of my muscles ached regularly, and the knee practically throbbed when I would do too much.  Once my Vitamin D levels started improving, I started feeling better. After a few months of tanning, I didn’t even notice my knee. The pain was gone. It inspired me to try going to the gym and get into a workout routine. I started losing weight and felt better than I had in years. It was life changing. Now I walk 5-10k any chance I get, and I enjoy being more active.

Second, I feel like I have more energy. Now that could be from working out, but without Vitamin D helping alleviate muscle pain, I wouldn’t be able to work out. So technically, that is an indirect benefit, but I’m counting it. Before tanning and increasing my Vitamin D level, I was often too tired to do anything. I was the queen of procrastination because I was too lazy to get anything done.

I have always suffered migraines and I have noticed they are less frequent in the last 2 years. My migraines never had much of a pattern to go by, I would go months without one, then get slammed with 3 or 4 in a short period of time. I do still get one occasionally, but they don’t ambush me anymore.

I had some asthma issues about 5 years back. Never really had any experience with it as a child, but suddenly had trouble breathing, mostly in the winter months. I have no idea what triggered it in my adult life. I was given an inhaler and while it was managed easily, it was inconvenient.  I have not had to use my inhaler at all since improving my Vitamin D level. Well, maybe one time when we were moving and there was a lot of dust in the air. I think we can give that time a pass. When I was first diagnosed, I was using it several times a week.

I do not get colds or the flu as often.  I rarely got the flu anyway, but anytime I feel a cold coming on, I increase my Vitamin D by taking supplements.  While other people around me get the cold full blast, I get a case of the sniffles most of the time. When my kids start having signs of a cold, I give them supplements and they either get a mild cold or none at all. It seems when the cold does take hold, it isn’t as intense and it doesn’t last as long. This is the only time I get Vitamin D through supplement form, and I feel it is very helpful.

These are the main health improvements I found for me personally. What I have found interesting is the many, many, benefits associated with a healthy Vitamin D level that are being studied and reported daily.  If you have a chance, check out the list on the Vitamin D Council’s website about how Vitamin D plays a role in several medical conditions here:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What I have learned

After reading so many articles and hearing so many reports about how dangerous tanning is, I have decided to revisit what happens when a person goes to a tanning salon. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about what goes on. So let’s review what the process is, and go over a few other things I have learned since tanning, researching, and starting this blog.

First, a new client will fill out a survey to help the staff at the salon determine what that person’s skin type is. The fairest skin type, skin type 1, would be directed to spray tanning as an option, but no sunbed. Skin type 1 does not tan and they would get no benefit from a sunbed. This is standard practice in North America, and it is good business. Nothing would be accomplished if they let a skin type 1 person tan because burning clients is a guaranteed path to driving away business. 

Skin type 2 is tricky. That is my skin type. The survey I took put me at the lowest part of the skin type 2 range so I had to move forward slowly and conservatively. The higher range of skin type 2 is not quite as delicate, but still needs a close eye on how the skin reacts to UV exposure. For me, I worked with the staff to set a schedule of only 3 minutes in the sunbed, waiting 48 hours between visits. I was in a level one sunbed (UVA and UVB rays) that had a maximum time of 20 minutes for any skin type.  Someone who has not tanned regularly, with sensitivity to sun exposure like me, would need to start out very gradual.  Professional salons train their staff to know how to handle the fairest skin type 2. They know how to handle all skin types, but a fair skin type 2 would be the one most likely to burn if they did something wrong. The staff at my salon was very knowledgeable about how to slowly build the exposure time without burning me. They prepared me for the results to be unnoticeable for a few weeks. They were right.  It seemed to take a very long time for me to see any tan lines. I still do not see a major difference between my tan skin and my untanned skin.  Skin type 3 and 4 do not burn as easily and have a little more wiggle room on tanning schedules, but never allowed more than the maximum time limit for the equipment being used.

Sunbeds have a maximum exposure time. There are beds with maximum exposure time of 10, 15 and 20 minutes so there is an equation that factors in the max exposure time and person’s skin type that a trained professional would use to set the customer’s tanning schedule.  Starting out in a 20 min max sunbed was different than it would have been in a 15 min max or a 10 min max for me. That max time is just that, the most a person could use the equipment per session no matter who it is, even the skin types that aren’t sensitive and don’t burn easily. I also know now that tanning beds are only 2-3 times stronger than the sun, yet it is often reported that they are 10-15 times stronger.  That is just one of the many things misrepresented about tanning, and one of the inspirations for me to start blogging about my experience.

I have learned that professional salons have their client’s safety as their top priority. They are careful to follow their safety protocol to ensure no one gets burned. They stay well below exposure times to keep the risks of burning low. They stick to the maximum exposure times per bed.  Again, it would be a very bad business plan for a salon to not follow these rules because they would burn clients and lose business.

I have learned that my ever so slight base tan protects me from sunburn. I know this because I have successfully spent hours outdoors with no SPF or 20-25 SPF with no sign of sunburn. That is certainly something I could never have done before tanning in the salon. Untanned skin burns more easily than tanned skin, plain and simple. With so many messages out there to avoid any and all UV, to wear sunscreen constantly, it seems to be working against nature. We are avoiding the sun, so we have become more sensitive to the sun. I lived like this for years and I burned anytime I was in the sun for more than 10 minutes before I built a base tan.  Something that I hear often is the claim that “I burn the first time I’m in the sun, and then it turns into a tan.” This is a common misconception, one I believed for years too, but the reality is that the skin burns, then peels to the underlying skin layer that was not overexposed. What we need to promote and encourage, is not to burn, ever. We need to take it slow and build the base tan gradually. The burn turning into a tan is a myth, the base tan protecting us is not a myth.

I now know how prevalent Vitamin D deficiency is and that it is a very serious problem.  I have learned what Vitamin D does in our bodies to help fight disease and illness. I understand that it is vital for a healthy lifestyle and that most of Americans are deficient. Being deficient puts us at risk of over 100 diseases including cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is 50 percent higher now than it was just 15 years ago and I believe it comes from that constant message to avoid the sun.

I have learned that groups who oppose tanning, like to throw out numbers to scare the public into believing skin cancer is a major risk threatening our lives. Like it is somehow more of a threat facing the general population than it has been in years past. But it is really only a threat to 2 percent of the population. I do not mean to sound callus, skin cancer is a serious issue and I believe it is something to be concerned, and vigilant about. However, it is not as rampant as they make it sound, and the relationship of UV exposure and skin cancer is not as clear cut as they say. They misrepresent studies to support their views when those studies show that professional salons do not contribute to the statistics they cite. They overstate the risks and misinform the public.  The truth is that skin cancer is a minimal risk when compared to the health risks of Vitamin D deficiency. Funny how doctors will prescribe medications that have severe side effects to treat an illness because the benefits would outweigh the risk, yet when it comes to UV exposure it seems the smaller risk of skin cancer wins over the many benefits of a healthy Vitamin D level.  It is backwards thinking.

I have learned that chemical sunscreen is dangerous when used constantly. The chemicals are absorbed into our skin and it blocks absorption of UV needed for Vitamin D. It is a double whammy. We should only need to use sunscreen when there is a chance we will be in the sun long enough to burn.  It should not be used daily. 

I have learned that there have been enough stories about tanning being bad for you and virtually no stories being told about how it can be beneficial. There are success stories out there, like my experience. That is why I decided to tell the other side of the story. Since sharing my story I have been contacted by many people with similar situations, stories, and experiences. I have heard many people say their doctor suggested tanning, and after hearing my story they have done their own research and made more informed decisions on what would work best for them. I don't believe there is a one size fits all solution and being informed is the best approach no matter what the issue.

The bottom line is, it is all about moderation, and some people just don’t understand that.  There is a misconception that all tanners are dark, leathery, and old looking. But we are just normal people in all shapes, sizes, and colors. We just have better Vitamin D levels than the general population. 

On a personal note, while writing this post I realized how much I have learned and I think I may have needed to break this one down because it has gone in so many directions. But I already put the time into it so I am posting it as is. I guess I have learned that I am still very passionate about this subject and that neglecting my blog means I ramble when I get back to writing. So I am re-committing to posting here regularly and hopefully I can scale things back and take on bits and pieces rather than trying to say everything all in one post. Thanks for reading!