No such thing as a safe tan . . .
A suntan is bad for your skin. We know, we know, you look and feel good with a tan, or you are naturally darker skinned and the sun just brings it out.
From the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), “There is no such thing as a safe tan.”
Why? The suns rays contain ultra-violet radiation (UV rays). Once the skin is exposed to UV rays, your skin gets darker. “ . . . it (your skin) increases the production of melanin . . .” to try and protect your body from more rays and further damage.
Your tan is your body saying “warning, watch out, this is bad.” Your skin is trying to help you avoid more UV rays. Again from the FDA, “the extra melanin in tanned skin provides SPF 2 to 4, far below the minimum recommended SPF 15.”
Here is what tanning (to say nothing of sunburns) can cause:
How does it the sun and its UV rays cause this damage? UV rays can damage DNA in skin cells causing the cells to “grow abnormally and develop benign or malignant growths.” The UV rays are also thought to break down collagen and elastin fibers causing wrinkles and such. UV rays can also cause dark spots, known as age spots.
Bottom line, try avoid tans (in the sun, in a tanning bed) by wearing sunscreen, protective clothing like long t-shirts, hats, and sunglasses when enjoying outdoor activities.
If you have sun damage, or if you are concerned about moles or spots on your skin, please contact us for an evaluation and to discuss your options.