There is an increase in skin troubles for teens and young adults across the country, and dermatologists say most of those troubles stem from indoor tanning. Many countries around the world are banning the beds completely, while some states in the US are implementing age restrictions, but not Alabama.
In California, no one under the age of 18 can use a tanning bed. In New Jersey, no one under 14 can. But in Alabama, there are absolutely no age restrictions required by law.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, if you use a tanning bed before the age of 35, your risk for getting melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, increases by 75 percent. It's a number that Dr. John Sowell, a dermatologist in Huntsville, can back up. He says he's seen a shift in the type of patients he treats.
"When I first started practicing 20 years ago, we saw melanoma in 40 years and above. Now we see it frequently in ladies in their 20's," he said.