When Kori was 14 years old, she started browning her pale skin in indoor tanning beds. "Everyone was doing it," Kori says, explaining that she just wanted to fit in with her friends.
Now 27, Kori says she continues to visit the tanning salon up to six times a week, sometimes several times a day.Given the nickname "tanorexic" by her friends, Kori says; she never uses sunblock or any product with SPF in it, but rather coats herself in baby oil to get the best tan possible.
Kori says being pale makes her feel depressed and overweight. "When I look in the mirror, and I don't see a tan, I feel like I can see every flaw that's standing out. When I'm white, and I haven't laid in the tanning bed, it makes me really depressed. And the pictures I see, I feel bigger, fatter — I just don't feel attractive at all."
More than 1 million people tan in tanning salons on an average day in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. A $2.6 billion industry in 2010, almost 70 percent of tanning salon clients are Caucasian girls and women, primarily between the ages of 16 and 29.
"I rarely drink. I don't smoke. So, tanning is my life. It's my treat to myself," Kori says.
At the urging of friends and family, however, Kori agrees to participate in a Health Scare Experiment, where oncologist Dr. Lawrence Piro will show Kori the dramatic damage she could do to her eyes, her face —;and her lifespan —;if she continues to tan. And, Amy Auden, whose husband, Nick, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, joins The Doctors to share details of her family's experience with skin cancer.
"The point is prevention is the first cure," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says.
Risks of indoor tanning:
• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization's International Agency of Research on Cancer panel has declared ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, as known carcinogens.
• Indoor tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources, including beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc., emits UVA and UVB radiation. The amount of the radiation produced during indoor tanning is similar to the sun and in some cases, might be stronger.
• Studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use.
• Studies have demonstrated that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning damages the DNA in the skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma.
• In addition to the above mentioned risks, frequent, intentional exposure to UV light may lead to an addiction to tanning.
Source: The American Academy of Dermatology
• Nick Auden's story: Fighting for treatment
• Tanning bed bacteria
• Self-tan injections?
• Removing skin cancer
• Protect your skin
• Chocolate-covered almond self-tanner
• Exclusive: Bruce Jenner discusses skin cancer scare