Melanoma Victim's Story Told in Public Service Ad Campaign

A self-proclaimed tanning addict, Jaime Regen Rea spent lots of time in tanning salons during high school. Jaime, who also spent time in the sun, was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, at age 20. She died before she reached her 30th birthday. Now her family is honoring Jaime's memory by participating in the American Academy of Dermatology's (Academy) new TV and print public service advertisements (PSAs) that educate people about the increased risk of melanoma from tanning beds and sun exposure.

There are multiple causes of melanoma, but exposure to UVA and UVB rays are a major factor. Many people don't realize that exposure to these dangerous rays can occur in indoor tanning salons, in addition to being outdoors in natural sunlight. Indoor tanning has been associated with a 75 percent increased risk of melanoma, the most common form of cancer for 25-29 year olds and the second most common form of cancer for 15-29 year olds.

There are numerous 'safe tanning' methods that can help you achieve a glowing complexion without the risks associated with sun damage. Cosmetic products, lotions, and even sunblocks can be purchased that contain skin-darkening agents, helping your skin to appear tanned in a safe way. Contact your skin care specialist for more information about sunless tanning products, or to learn more about skin conditions related to sun damage, like melanoma. Click here for a skin care specialist near you.

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