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The Dangers of UV Tanning & the Benefits of Sunless Tanning

Posted: April 2nd, 2018

Over the past 20 years the public has been made aware of the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from tanning devices and the sun. Even though public awareness has risen, the desire to have a tan continues especially in teens & young adults. This fact is evident by the rising melanoma incidents—presently six times higher for teens & young adults compared to four decades ago.  UV radiation can damage the immune system and cause premature aging of the skin. Fortunately, there have been considerable advancements in sunless tanners since the 1980’s when these products would produce a color that appeared unrealistic and orange tinted. For people who realize the hazard of UVR but still want a nice glowing tan, it is beneficial to learn about the better quality sunless tanners and discover the difference from UV tanning.
Premature skin aging, sunburn, and suntans can all come from overexposure to cancer producing ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays. UVA rays have long been recognized as a deeper penetrating radiation that causes more damage. UVB rays have been known to cause sunburn. These visible & invisible rays damage the DNA of skin cells causing the skin cells in the top layer to generate more melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its color. This suntan is actually the result of skin injury. Scientific studies have discovered that there may be a link between UVA radiation and melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Tanning beds emit mostly UVA radiation and like UVB rays are linked to skin cancer, immune system damage, and the wrinkled- leathery look of premature skin aging.
Fortunately, sunless tanning is a better choice and does not damage the skin. Most sunless tanners create a “tan” that comes from a coloring agent which makes the skin appear tan. Unlike UV, this coloring agent does not go below the skin surface. Currently, sunless tanners are easy to use and available in gels, lotions, creams, pump sprays, aerosols, and wipes.
Avoid the damaging effects of the sun and tanning beds that generate ultraviolet radiation. Sunless tanning is an effective and safe alternative to UV tanning. For more information contact the Skin Cancer Foundation at http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/tanning/sunless or visit our website at www.ourfamilyderm.com.  To purchase Sunless Tanning products, call Advanced Aesthetics, Owensboro Dermatology’s Medical Spa at 270-852-4785.