Are you looking for safe tanning options? Sorry to disappoint you but there is no such thing as a safe tan according to Dr. Kormeili, Santa Monica dermatologist. We realize this may bring up some questions and concerns so let’s discuss.
Safe Tanning Beds
“Are tanning beds safe?”
The answer is: No! Please don’t kill the messenger! The truth (as it was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology) shows that women who used tanning beds were in fact more likely to develop skin cancers.
Safe Tanning With Sunscreen
We’ve heard this question before “But what if I get a tan and used sunscreen – isn’t that safe?”
Once again: No! If you got a tan, it means your skin absorbed UV radiation, and in doing so, received the DNA damage you need to avoid.
So, what is the big deal with skin cancer anyway?
There are different types of skin cancer. The most common ones include: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous cell Carcinoma, and the deadly one, Malignant Melanoma. There are over 2 Million cases of skin cancer diagnosed every year in this country, which might not seem like a big deal til you realize: Each hour one person dies melanoma. That is tragic! If that’s not a big deal, what is?!
So, what should I do to be safe?
- Wear sunscreen. Re-apply if you intend to be outside for a prolonged period of time
- Avoid the sun in its peak hours between 10 am-3 pm. Go hiking at 8 am or play tennis at the club at 4 pm.
- Educate yourself on what skin cancer looks like. Look at your skin!
- Get a Board-certified dermatologist to look at you at least one a year. You deserve it!
So if you’re going to be in the sun (weekend at the beach or vacation), it’s important to take steps to protect your skin. Here are 3 tips for practicing safe sun:
- Wear sunglasses and hats. The skin around your eyes is delicate and more likely to burn. So remember to wear a hat and sunglasses. Just don’t fall asleep with them on because they you will have an uneven tan. When possible sit or stand in the shade.
- Avoid too much sun in one day. It’s better to get a gradual tan and prevent against sunburn. If you spend an entire day in the sun you may end up looking like a lobster, not to mention all the UV exposure.
- If you’re going to be in the sun, wear sunscreen. We get it, you’re not a vampire. If you’re going to be in the sun, apply sunscreen. It will actually increase the amount of time you can be in the sun and you can still get tanned wearing sunscreen as we mentioned above. Make sure to read our post on sunscreen safety to make sure you buy the correct SPF.
To schedule your skin examination or consultation, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.