Do you believe these tanning myths?

Do you believe these tanning myths?

Sun-kissed skin is often a desired physical trait. Some people feel more confident and more attractive the tanner they are. Yet bronzed skin may put your health in harms way.

A study found an alarming number of people believe safe tanning myths to be true. Margaret Wilson, a dermatology physician assistant at Aurora Health Care, helps set the record straight.

MYTH: A base tan prevents skin cancer

“Having a base tan does not prevent additional UV damage,” explains Wilson. “All tans, including base tans, indicate that you have had enough UV exposure to alter the DNA in the skin. This mutation is what puts you at risk for skin cancer.”

MYTH: Staying hydrated can prevent sunburn

“The only way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid direct UV exposure,” says Wilson. “Staying in the shade is the best tactic to prevent sunburn, especially when the UV index is high during peak hours of sunlight. The next best line of defense is wearing sun-protective clothing and frequently applying SPF.”

MYTH: There are ways to safely tan

“There is no such thing as a safe tan,” cautions Wilson. “If you develop a tan through your SPF, it usually means your sunscreen was not effective enough to prevent you from the harmful UV rays. We recommend a SPF of 30–50, reapplied every 2 hours.”

If you have any questions on how to protect your skin from sun exposure, schedule an appointment with a dermatology provider.

Are you trying to find a doctor? Find one in Illinois or Wisconsin. 

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About the Author

Anna Kohler
Anna Kohler

Anna Kohler, health enews contributor, is an external communications specialist for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She received her bachelor's degree in public relations from Illinois State University and has worked in health care public relations and content marketing for over five years. In her free time, she enjoys working out, exploring new places with her friends and family, and keeping up with the latest social media trends.