Skin cancer is on the rise among young adults.
A new study from the Mayo Clinic found a dramatic rise in first-time melanoma for patients ages 18-39, especially among women.
Melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer, killing one person an hour according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Men traditionally have a greater lifetime risk of melanoma than women, but the study found the opposite to be true among the younger set.
Researchers used data from a decades-long database of patient information out of Minnesota, and looked at first-time melanoma diagnoses.
Tanning beds may be the primary culprit, particularly among young women, who are more likely to indulge in indoor tanning. The Mayo Clinic says tanning beds give seven times the dose of UV radiation as the sun. In 2009, the International Agency of Research on Cancer declared tanning beds a leading cancer-risk, right alongside cigarettes.
Childhood sunburns also indicate future risk; adults who burned as kids are advised to get their skin checked by dermatologists as a precaution.
Sun worshippers should go fake when seeking a bronze glow.
Other ways to lower your risk of skin cancer include avoiding the outdoors between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is strongest; wearing protective clothing while outdoors, including long sleeves, hats and sunglasses; and most importantly, always use sunscreen. Dermatologists say sunscreen should be worn all day long, even if you are just driving, and should be reapplied every two or three hours.