(WXYZ) – Now that we’re heading into warmer weather, many people are considering getting a “base tan.”
Having a bronzed look is too often associated with healthiness and attractiveness. The reality of tanning is quite the opposite for most people.
Tanning damages your skin and increases your risk for skin cancer
If you get a sunburn that blisters, not only is it painful, you nearly double your lifetime risk for the most-deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma.
Having a base tan does not prevent against sunburn and it’s not a good substitute for good sun protection either
Experts have estimated a base tan is similar to wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 3 to 4. That’s very low. You should be wearing sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 30. And stay away from tanning beds, repeated exposure to UV radiation also increases your risk of skin cancer and skin aging. If you’re not ready to give up your tan, consider using sunless tanning lotions, gels or sprays that temporally stain the skin.
To stay safe in the sun and help protect against cancer, here are my prescriptions:
1. Avoid the sun when it’s most intense, typically between 10 am and 3 pm.
2. Wear sunscreen not just in the summer, but all year long. Chose products that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation. Be careful of the expiry date, find out more here.
3. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before heading outside. Reapply every 2 -3 hours and more often if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
4. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses with a UV-protection rating.
Please take sun protection seriously. Skin cancer rates are up 50% from a decade ago. Nearly 5 million Americans are expected to be treated for skin cancer this year. It affects all skin tones so it’s best to love the skin color you were born with, especially if you’re fair-skinned. Embrace it and protect it. In the long run, you’ll be less wrinkled and more importantly, less at risk of developing skin cancer.
Would you like to learn more about a drug that creates a real suntan that could prevent cancer? Click here to learn more.
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Data pulled from WXYZ