A community service provided by The Colorado Melanoma Foundation & EltaMD Skincare
Tanning, Sunburn, and Your Health
Tanning, whether it be outside or indoors, can have dangerous consequences. Although it is often associated with good health, the "healthy glow" of a tan is actually the opposite. A tan is visible evidence of DNA injury to your skin. Tanning damages your skin cells and accelerates the visible signs of aging. Worst of all, tanning can lead to skin cancer.
There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanning increases your risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Your best defense is to avoid tanning at all costs.
What causes tanning?
Tanning is caused by exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from the sun or tanning beds. This exposure causes damage to the cells on your outermost layer of skin, the epidermis. The skin tries to prevent further injury by producing melanin (the pigment that gives our skin its color). This results in darkening of the skin.
Tanning damages all types of skin. Even if your skin is not fair, tanning causes DNA injury that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.
What is at stake when we tan?
Tanning Myth or Fact?
Indoor tanning is safer than tanning outdoors
A base tan will prevent sunburn
I need to expose myself to UV to get my daily Vitamin D
Tanning beds are a great source of Vitamin D
Tanning is addictive
The damage is already done. What's the point in protecting my skin now?