3 Tanning Myths You Thought Were Facts
Summer is here, the sun is shining and there is nothing better than showing off your tan. Unfortunately, tanning isn’t all it is cracked up to be. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help debunk all the tanning myths you have heard and set the record straight on what’s true and untrue. We will help you determine if you actually need a base tan before going out in the sun, if darker skin is immune to skin damage, and if skin cancer is something to worry about or not.
Most Common Tanning Myths
Myth #1: You Need a Base Tan
Most men and women do not want to show up to the first pool party of the year with pasty, light skin. Instead, they choose to head to the tanning salon to get a base tan. Many believe a base tan is a necessity for avoiding a sunburn but — you guessed it — needing a base tan is a myth. A tan is just as “dangerous” as a sunburn. Any unnecessary exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is damaging the skin. Even if the skin does not burn, a tan signifies damage has been done to the skin.
Myth #2: Skip Sunscreen if You Have Darker Skin
Whether you have black, white, blue, purple or green skin, sunscreen is a necessity. No matter which color your skin is, you’re not immune to skin damage. As mentioned in the first myth above, even the slightest tan is considered skin damage. SPF should always be worn — even when it’s a cloudy day and even when you have darker skin, you still need to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. The sun can still cause damage even if it is hiding behind the clouds.
Myth #3: Skin Cancer is Nothing to Worry About
While some skin cancers can be easily removed and not cause long-term damage, all skin types and cancer types are different and are not worth taking a chance on. Not everyone will get skin cancer, but it doesn’t mean you should freely expose your skin to the sun or tanning bed. While some skin cancers may not be deadly, others may be if not detected in time. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer you will have many medical appointments and potential surgeries that need to take place to remove the cancer. It’s not only a time-consuming process, but can be very scary and should be something you’re thinking about when exposing your skin to the sun.
The best way to stay safe from tanning beds and the sun is to limit your exposure to both. An alternative to tanning beds and the sun is using self-tanner. You can achieve the look you want in minimal time without risking skin damage. If self-tanner is not an option, knowing what’s real and unreal regarding sun exposure and sun damage is important so you know how to best protect yourself. If you have questions about how to best protect your skin from the sun, the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are here to help answer them. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form to get in touch with a dermatologist.