A woman holds a bikini clad woman back while she walks like a zombie towards a tanning sign with an evil smiling sun on it.

That Friend...You Know the One

We all have that one friend. No, not the quirky one. I’m not talking about the moody one either. You know the one--that friend who keeps you in check and never fails to set you straight when you threaten to buy that purse you swore last week you wouldn’t buy. This is the friend you make promise to slap your hand if you reach for that extra dessert on the buffet--you know, that friend. We all have one, and if you don’t have one, you just might be that friend.

Bring on the bluntness

If you’ve ever made the break from an unhealthy habit, that one friend’s bluntness can be a lifesaver--literally. If skin cancer has reared its ugly head in your life as a result of using tanning beds or worshipping the sun, you may have found yourself depending on that one friend to give you a not-so-gentle shove in the right direction when you begin to falter. Tanning is addictive, as you may well know. In your heart of hearts, you want a friend on your side who will remind you of the dangers of ultraviolet radiation and loudly list all the reasons you quit tanning in the first place.

Resisting tanning

Summer is knocking persistently at the door now, and it’s growing increasingly difficult to ignore it. Tanning salons are advertising specials with all the voracity of a half-starved lion tailing a gazelle. The signs are flashing, the radio spots are touting their “summer season savings,” and you probably have heard the words “free” and “visits” thrown in there somewhere, too. You need that friend right now.

Growing weaker by the moment and craving the heat of the tanning bed with the summery scent of tanning lotions filling the air, you are about to throw in the towel and do it--you’re about to buy those visits and slather on that tanning lotion. Were it not for the bold statements of your friend, you might just find yourself flat on your back baking your skin and increasing your chances for more melanoma, Mohs surgeries, cryosurgery, and sunspots.

Pay attention to their words

Listen when she says, “Don’t you remember how many times your dermatologist has told that you have sun damage?”

Let her bring you back to Earth when she finds you staring into space as you sniff the wide variety of tanning accelerators and whispers, “It’s not worth it.”

Don’t shrug her off when she nags, “Aren’t you the one who taught me that tanned skin is damaged skin, huh? Aren't you?”

Cherish her

Believe her when she tells you, “You look better without a tan anyway.”

Above all else, thank her because she is saving you.

If you are struggling with skin cancer and still debating tanning, find that friend and be grateful for every moment of scolding and finger-wagging. Remember, there’s no law stating you can’t have that friend and be one, too.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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