Is there a Safe Tan? (Video)

Aug 04, 2010 2 Comments by
Dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis 
Uptown Dermatology 
Minneapolis, MN
 

Today we’re going to talk about safe tanning, and the first thing to know is that There is No Safe Tanning!  Tanning is your skin’s mechanism for protecting itself from unsafe ultraviolet light.  Now, this varies depending on what you were genetically gifted with in terms of skin tone.  So, darker skin tones are going to be able to tolerate a little more light.  Really pale skin doesn’t have that melanin safety net to put up, so the lighter your skin the more you have to head this advice. 

No Tanning Beds – that’s the bottom line, there is no safe tanning bed, there is no measured dose.  It’s kind of analogous to saying, how many times can I not wear my seatbelt before it’s dangerous?   How many times can I go tanning before its dangerous?  It depends on a lot of things and I would say there is no safe amount to not wear your seat belt or to go tanning.

A couple of other things I wanted to address also is this Myth of Getting a Base Tan before Vacation.  The recommendation is really just Bring your Sunscreen on Vacation and Use It.  You really want to prevent sunburns and you know, frankly, you are going to get a nice little color through your sunscreen, even if it is a spf 30.  Embrace the healthy look of your natural skin color.  You do not need to enhance it with a tan…and if you want to, there are plenty of great options for self tanners.  We have spray booths, you can go in and get a tan sprayed on you and it’s all proven safe over time.  I would much rather see people use tanning creams or tanning spray booths than tanning beds in terms of safety.  I hear the concern a lot, but are those creams safe?  Way safer than natural ultraviolet light, that’s for sure.  The other advantage to avoiding ultraviolet light for tanning is your skin will thank you in many ways, besides reducing your risk for skin cancer your skin looks younger longer because healthy skin is better looking skin – no doubt about it!

 Keep in mind – Be SunAWARE and Be Safe!

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