Risks Of Overexposure
· Actinic elastosis
· Actinic karatosis
· Polymorphous light eruption (PLE)
Salon owner/operator and client education is the number one factor that
can and will diminish the chances of risk during the tanning process. As
with any process involving UVR exposure, it is vital to stress moderate,
sensible and responsible tanning and consistent use of approved eye
Risks Of Overexposure
Overexposure, which is defined as a UVR dose sufficient to cause erythema, should be
avoided. Repeated overexposure is believed to cause eye and skin injury and allergic
reactions and increase the risks of developing photoaging of the skin, dryness, wrinkling,
and (sometimes fatal) skin cancer.
Skin cancers can be divided into two main categories (melanoma and non-melanoma)
and three main types (Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and Cutaneous
Malignant Melanoma). Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common skin cancers.
Basal Cell /carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are the two most common forms of
non-melanoma skin cancers. Melanomas are cancers that develop from melanocytes.
1. Non-melanoma Skin Cancer
More than 1 million cases of Basal Cell or Squamous Cell cancer will be diagnosed annually.
Men are twice as likely to develop non-melanoma cancers than women. Death is uncommon
in these cancers. It is estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 people die each year from nonmelanoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) occurs in the deepest layer of the epidermis and it is named for
the skin cell in which it arises. Affecting 800,000 Americans each year, Basal Cell Carcinoma
is the most common form of skin cancer. About 70 to 80 percent of all skin cancers in
men and 80 percent to 90 percent in women are Basal Cell Carcinomas. They occur most
frequently on exposed parts of the body—the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders and back.
Basal Cell Carcinoma is slow growing. It is rare for Basal Cell Carcinoma to spread to the
lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body. If the cancer is not treated, however, it can
grow into and invade the bone and tissue nearby.
After treatment, Basal Cell Carcinoma can recur. Thirty-five percent to 50 percent of people
diagnosed with one Basal Cell cancer develop a new skin cancer within five years of the
Signs—Basal Cell Carcinoma usually appears as a smooth, waxy or pearly bump that grows
slowly and rarely spreads.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) occurs in the upper layers of the epidermis. Afflicting more
than 200,000 Americans each year, Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common
form of skin cancer. Squamous Cell Carcinomas account for about 10 percent to 30 percent
of all skin cancers. Squamous Cell Carcinomas most commonly appear on exposed areas
of the body (the face, ear, neck, lip, and back of the hands) but can occur on mucous
membranes and all other areas of the body.
Squamous cell cancers tend to be more aggressive than basal
cell cancers. Although it is uncommon, they are more likely to
invade surrounding tissues, and slightly more likely to spread
to lymph nodes or distant parts of the body
Signs—Squamous Cell Carcinoma causes a firm, nodular or flat
growth with a crusted, ulcerated or scaly surface on the face,
ears, neck hands or arms.
Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma (CMM) is more rare but is
aggressive and can be fatal. It is estimated that in 2005 there
will be 59,580 cases diagnosed and 7,770 deaths reported.
Since 1981, the incidence of melanoma has increased a little
less than 3 percent per year. The percentage of people who
develop melanoma has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
Malignant melanoma causes more than 75 percent of all deaths
from skin cancer. Melanoma is the most common cancer
among people 25 to 29 years old.
This disease can spread to other organs, most commonly the
lungs and liver.
Malignant melanoma diagnosed at an early stage usually can be
cured, but melanoma diagnosed at a late stage is more likely to
spread and cause death.
Signs—Melanoma often appears asymmetrical, irregularly
bordered and with a diameter larger than the head of a pencil
(about ¼ of an inch).
The following factors increase an individual’s susceptibility
to skin cancer: a family history of skin cancer, Skin Type 1,
multiple sunburns, photosensitivity, and certain types and large
numbers of moles. Skin Type 1 individuals should never be
allowed in a tanning unit, they are biologically incapable of
acquiring a tan. Individuals who have a past history of skin
cancer should also not tan.
It is the operators responsibility to follow moderate, sensible,
and responsible tanning practices (properly skin typing,
following manufacturers recommended exposure schedules,
checking medical information for photosensitizing medications
and conditions, not allowing a client to tan more than once in
a 24-hour period) to ensure that overexposure does not occur.
Medical Help Regarding Skin Cancer
If you notice a new growth, change in skin or sore that doesn’t
heal in 2 weeks, see your physician. Don’t wait for pain; skin
cancers are usually not painful. The cure rate for skin cancer
is high if you receive treatment early. If a client questions you
regarding a growth, change in their skin or a sore, refer them
to their physician or dermatologist for evaluation.
There are several other skin conditions that have been
associated with overexposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation).
Actinic (solar) keratosis (AK). A horny growth or callosity
associated with middle-aged or elderly individuals with fair
complexion. AK is a premalignant condition that may give
rise to squamous cell carcinoma and is linked to repeated
overexposure to sunlight.
Polymorphous light eruption (PLE). A common disorder that
is characterized by a delayed abnormal response to sunlight,
usually a rash or eruption, that is found on UVR-exposed areas
of the skin. Women are four times more likely to experience
PLE symptoms than are men. Additionally, about 5% of the
public is prone to an outbreak of PLE. The typical onset is 1
to 24 hours after exposure and the condition usually resolves
itself within seven to ten days.
This condition is an acute reaction in the skin following
overexposure to UV radiation. UVB accounts for most sunburn
reactions. Symptoms of sunburn usually appear within a few
hours after exposure, bringing pain, redness, swelling and
occasional blistering. Because a large area of the body is often
effected after overexposure, a sunburn can cause headache,
fever and fatigue.
Sunburn may not slow you down too much, but a lifetime
of overexposure to UV radiation can damage your skin and
increase your risk for skin cancer. If you have severe sunburn
or immediate complications (rash, itching or fever), contact
The term photoaging is a relatively new one. Utilized
to describe skin changes that result from chronic UVR
overexposure that mimic the physiologic aging process,
photoaged skin is typically thickened and has increased
numbers and activity of skin cells. There is a degeneration of
collagen fibers and an increase in elastin of the skin.
Photaged skin appears rough and thickened, with wrinkling
and furrowing. It is dry to the touch and may have a yellowish
color associated with brown hyperpigmentation.
Photoaging has been linked mainly to UVA radiation. Although
UVA carries less energy than UVB rays, it penetrates more
deeply into the skin and tissues beneath. Prolonged, intense
exposure to UV can damage tissues in the dermis and
cause premature aging. It is believed that 90 percent of the
visual characteristics associated with aging (less elasticity,
hyperpigmented spots, fine lines, wrinkles) are increased by
exposure to UV.