Monthly Archives: July 2014

Can You Tan Safely?

sunscreen

 

“I look better with a tan.”

“Getting a little color can’t hurt.”

Summer is still in full swing, and we all spend a lot of time in the sun.  There are many things people say to justify a tan, but the truth is that sun damage is cumulative and can lead to premature aging of the skin and even skin cancer. Because UVA/UVB rays break down the collagen proteins in our skin, we develop wrinkles, lose volume and the skin begins to sag.

Too much exposure to the sun can also be dangerous.  UVA/UVB rays are a form of radiation which damage the DNA of skin cells.  When the DNA of keratinocytes is damaged, the result is a basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer.  When the DNA of melanocytes is damaged, you can develop melanoma.

If you want a “safe” tan, use self tanners or get a spray tan.  Just remember that self-tanners don’t provide any protection from the sun, so be sure you apply your sunscreen.