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Dark side of tanning

26th May 2012  : 

You might not realise it, but there really is no such thing as a 'healthy' tan. When you understand how a tan works you will see that protecting yourself from the sun is always a good idea.

How a Sun Tan Works

Ultraviolet radiation is an invisible part of the sun's rays. When it hits your skin it stimulates the release of melanin-producing cells and the production of more of these cells. This melanin is a pigment that causes freckles and tans. However, this same radiation also causes other effects.

1. It damages collagen, loosening the skin and developing fine lines and wrinkles.

2. It can cause uneven and unsightly skin pigmentation.

3. It increases the risk of developing certain skin cancers.

4. It worsens some skin conditions such as rosacea.

5. It can also harm your eyes and damage your hair.

If you don't get out in the sun for a while then your sun tan will fade, but the sun damage that came with it will not disappear! The effects of sun damage are caused by your lifetime exposure, so the choices you make when young can really impact over your life. While some skin treatments can reduce the visible effects, your skin has still suffered damage.

Precautions when Tanning

If you must get a natural tan or cannot avoid the sun, make sure to protect yourself.

1. Cover any moles or areas where you have a skin condition that may be worsened by UV radiation.
2. Never allow yourself to be sunburned - always wear some degree of sun screen, even if a low SPF.
3. Remember that UV rays are generally at their highest level between 10am and 3pm.
4. Wear eye protection that covers both the front and sides of your eye.
5. Always visit your doctor if you notice new or changing lumps & bumps or moles.

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