Home Disorders Dermatologic Disorders Why should you stop sun tanning

Why should you stop sun tanning

SunTan

SunTan

Summer is here and soon many people will be heading towards their favorite beach destinations to enjoy beautiful beaches and bask in the sun to get a suntan. To most people it will sound like the best holiday idea sure it is, but there are certain dangers of sun tanning that can catch you unaware.

We all know that getting some sun is needed and is definitely good for us. When our body is exposed to sun rays, vitamin D is produced in our body. But did you know that only half an hour of sun exposure is enough to produce it and that too much sunlight can actually be deadly? You get a tan when you expose yourself to too much sunshine and the fact is that it is not good for you.

The pigment melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes located in the epidermis layer of skin. This pigment is responsible for the browning of the skin. When our skin is exposed to the UV rays, the skin triggers the production of melanin to absorb the harmful rays. The more our skin is exposed to the harmful UV rays the more melanin is produced, thereby causing more tanning. If our skin produces less melanin, the damage to the skin by the UV rays can be irreparable. When such damage accumulates over time, the normal skin cells start mutating into cancer cells. Just like sun burn, suntan is a result of damage done to your DNA by the UV rays and it is the stepping stone for skin cancer.

The tanning of the skin is a response that DNA damage has occurred. Excessive sun tanning can also lead to the occurrence of symptoms of premature skin aging like wrinkles, brown spots, lax skin, etc. It also leads to the breaking down of the collagen in the skin and thus leading to sagging of skin.

Most of us live in a false sense of security and think that if we step out in the sun after applying SPF 50 sunscreen, we will be fine. But, that is not right. The effects of sun damage can take years to show and by the time you know it is already too late. Sun tanning, or for that matter even getting tan in tanning salon is harmful for the skin. Therefore, you have ample reasons to stop sun tanning. However, does that mean you should not enjoy a beach holiday? Definitely notbut here are a few measures that will help you in keeping your skin sun safe and help you be more cautious:

– Do not expose yourself to the sun for excessively long hours.

– Avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as this the time when the rays are strongest.

– Check the sun protection you use. It should have a minimum of SPF 15 and should protect your from both UVA and UVB. Always apply it about 30 minutes before you step into the sun and reapply it every 11/2 hours.

– When exposed to sunrays for long hours, make it a point to seek shade in between. Make sure you also wear a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself.

It doesn't matter how you get your natural tan, whether it is outdoors or at a tanning salon, the damage caused by sun exposure and UV radiation will result in premature skin aging, particularly in the form of wrinkles, skin sag, age spots and more. Perhaps the most detrimental outcome of long-term tanning is skin cancer, which can be otherwise be avoided. Moreover, people who tan themselves indoors via UV radiation are 74% more likely to induce melanoma than those who don't.

Wanting a tan isn't a bad thing, you just need to look for smarter options. If you would like to have a typical tanned appearance, resort to sunless tanners such as tanning lotions or powders for a bronze, beachy glow.

References

http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=398011

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190962206023814