Brittany Winchester competed in the Miss USA pageant on Sunday evening, representing her home state of Indiana. However, after the bikini round, the Midwestern beauty queen made a shocking admission. Now, she is determined to warn others about what she went through.
As she was preparing to compete for the title of Miss Indiana, Winchester made a horrifying discovery in 2015: Years of using tanning beds every day to achieve the perfect glow had left her with skin cancer at the age of 25.
When getting her annual skin check by her dermatologist in 2015, Winchester’s biopsy showed three basal cell carcinoma skin cancers on her stomach and back. [Source: Daily Mail]
Winchester wrote about her experience in an article for Cosmopolitan, explaining, “They take a big chunk of your skin out! It’s literally a chunk. I did not watch it happen. I would say each area was about a 1/2 an inch to an inch long and round, with stitches.”
Needless to say, she has changed her ways since then. After her cancer scare, Winchester has sworn off tanning beds and says she will only use spray tans to achieve glowing skin. The beauty queen is using her platform to warn others of the dangers associated with tanning.
Cases of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma have skyrocketed in a 10-year span; diagnoses for squamous cell carcinoma increased 263 percent and basal cell carcinomas increased 145 percent. No doubt, this is due in large part to the tanning trend.
While it may be popular to be tan, the risks of the “fake and bake” method of achieving perceived perfection simply aren’t worth it. Twenty-five-years-old is far too young to be diagnosed with any type of cancer, but especially skin cancer, which in Winchester’s case was entirely preventable.
Please share Brittany Winchester’s cautionary tale so that others will be alerted to the dangers of tanning beds. In this day and age, there are so many other safe ways to get the golden skin you desire, like self-tanners and spray tanning. There’s no reason for anyone to be risking their health by spending days on end in a tanning bed.