May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!
Are you finally planning a vacation someplace warm and sunny? Looking to spend time on the beach this summer?
Are you wondering whether you need a base tan to get the most out of your tropical getaway?
It’s a common belief that tanning in layers, starting with a base tan, helps prevent sunburn. Don’t buy into this myth! Even worse than not being necessary, base tans are actually dangerous to your skin and your long-term health.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has advice for anyone wondering about tanning in layers or getting a base tan, The short answer is DO NOT GET IN A TANNING BED! To get a tan you need to damage your skin. The skin darkens in order to prevent more damage, but your risk of skin cancer is already increased.
If you’re still considering a tanning bed, keep this in mind: using one before you’re 30 increases your risk of melanoma by 75%. Using them regularly triples the chances you’ll develop skin cancer at some point in your life.
Tanning is bad for you because your body doesn't even begin to tan until dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays have pierced your skin and started to mess with your DNA. Both UV-A and UV-B cause the kind of DNA damage that can lead to skin cancer, but UV-A, in particular, can contribute to a second problem: It breaks down the natural collagen in the skin, which can lead to premature aging.
Collagen is the support structure for the skin without the support structure, skin wrinkles, thins, and weakens, taking on a papery appearance. No anti-aging product or skin treatment, even the dermatologist-recommended ones, can slow skin aging as much as simply using sunscreen in the first place