Woman's Dangerous Tanning Habit Left A Hole In Her Face


woman in tanning bed NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock

Jade Thrasher is a young nurse from Tennessee. In 2014, her father, Charles noticed that she had an odd sore growing on the side of her nose.

When the sore continued to grow, then began to burst, and refused to heal, she went to get a biopsy. 

The news came back: she had skin cancer.

How had she gotten it? It came from years of tanning in salons and even in her own personal tanning bed.


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“There was so much pressure to be tanned — everyone wanted to be bronzed,” she said in a 2016 interview. “It is seen as unattractive to be pale where we live in Nashville.”

At the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Thrasher consulted with doctors regarding the melanoma on her face. During the surgery, doctors removed a dime-sized portion of skin out of her nose.

In order to correct the hole, they removed skin off her chest, leaving a six-inch long scar.

“I want teenagers to see the photo of the hole in my nose so that they know what could happen,” said Thrasher. “I used to have a sunbed in my house, but I’ve thrown it in the trash. I didn’t want to sell it, because I didn’t want anybody else to go through what I went through. I definitely regret the years of tanning, but in a way, I saved my skin at a young age because I got cancer.”


Here is what Thrasher had looked like before her surgery:



A post shared by Jade Peek Thrasher (@jade.thrasher) on Oct 11, 2015 at 11:25am PDT

And the photos of what her nose looked like after the damage from tanning and throughout her surgeries.

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(Warning: these are graphic images.)



A post shared by Jade Peek Thrasher (@jade.thrasher) on Jun 27, 2016 at 3:47pm PDT



A post shared by Jade Peek Thrasher (@jade.thrasher) on Dec 29, 2015 at 9:11pm PST



A post shared by Jade Peek Thrasher (@jade.thrasher) on Jan 8, 2016 at 2:30pm PST

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Luckily, Thrasher had found cancer early on and didn’t require chemotherapy. She made a full recovery after months of terrible pain from the surgery but had to undergo additional surgery to correct the scars on both her nose and her chest.

“When you’re a teenager, you think you’re invincible,” Thrasher explained. But you’re not. As she adds, “You have to be confident in your own skin, regardless of what color it is.”

Thrasher refuses to use a tanning bed anymore, and always makes sure to use SPF 50 sunblock whenever she’s outside.


Make certain to protect yourself this summer and not let the sun damage your skin. Use sunblock and your best judgment, and remember that tanning beds are just as deadly as the real thing. 

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Merethe Najjar is a professional writer, editor, and fiction author. Follow her on Twitter.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in April 2016.