Healthy tan? Think again

Dr. Ida Orengo
Dr. Ida Orengo

You may think that a sun tan gives you a healthy-looking glow, but think again about the sun’s impact on your skin. Dangers of the sun include sunburns, wrinkles, premature aging, sun spots, dilated blood vessels and skin cancer.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer, making it the most common form of cancer in the United States. Having just one sunburn in your life can increase the risk of skin cancer twofold.

Prevention of sun damage and skin cancer is easy and your skin will thank you later.

Best practices

Some ways to prevent skin cancer include:

  • Stay out of the sun if your shadow is shorter than you.
  • Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants of a tightly woven fabric in dark colors. Wear wide-brimmed hats to protect your face.
  • Wear sunglasses. UV rays affect the eyes and surrounding skin and excess sunlight can even lead to cataracts.
  • Use sunscreen liberally. Reapply every two hours, even if using waterproof sunscreen. Use at least a 30 SPF sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB light.
  • See your dermatologist if you notice any changes in your skin and get regular screenings if you have a history of sunburns or blood relatives with melanoma.

Remember, there is no such thing as a healthy tan.

Get more expert advice on protecting yourself from the sun.

 –Dr. Ida Orengo, professor of dermatology

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