Growing up in Kentucky, Tawny Willoughby, 27, had a personal tanning bed at home, and she used it four or five times a week. When she went to see a dermatologist for the first time at 21, she learned she already had skin cancer; since then, she’s had basal cell carcinoma five times. Last month, she posted a picture of her face covered in painful-looking post-cancer treatment scabs on Facebook, along with the caption, “If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like.” Her message resonated: It’s since been shared more than 50,000 times. Melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in 25-to 29-year-olds, and the American Academy of Dermatology says over 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. per year are linked to tanning beds.
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