In the year 2014, after so much bad press about fake tanning, you'd think the term "tanorexic" would be practically extinct. Not so. Despite the well-reported dangers, many still use tanning beds on the regular ... like 33-year-old Anna Taylor, who would tan for an hour every night, six times a week, for three years.
After more than 900 hours on a sunbed, she decided to switch to tanning lotion, but by then, it was too late. A year ago, doctors discovered a tiny spot on her face was a kind of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, reports The Daily Mail. And she was forced to have a surgery that required excision of part of her cheek, which required 29 stitches, which left in their wake a huge scar from her eye to her mouth. So. Horrible.
Taylor claims that although she knows her tanning habit had to do in part with her vanity, she thought she was doing something good by steering clear of actually being out in the sun. Ugh.
It does bear noting that apparently, in 2010, one doctor dismissed the tiny spot on her left cheek near her nose as "nothing more than a little scar." If I were Taylor, I'd be livid about that. And of course, there's a lot of confusion out there in regard to what's healthy and acceptable with sun exposure, but at the same time, come on. We should all know by now that laying in a sunbed -- especially for hours on end -- is asking for trouble, no?
Just like it's common knowledge that smoking is bad for you and leads to lung cancer, and eating too much junk food and/or drinking obscene amounts of sugar-packed soda can lead to obesity and other various health concerns. In other words, we can't pretend we're living in Mad Men times anymore. We should KNOW better, and we can't exactly be surprised when there are unnerving consequences to these behaviors.
Sure, sometimes addiction is to blame. So we can only hope those in that boat reach out for help before they end up under the knife like Anna Taylor. And fingers crossed her story serves as a wake-up call to others taking tanning too far.
What do you think about Anna Taylor's story?
Image via miran/Flickr