That healthy looking tan makes us look and feel good, but is it really worthwhile? It is imperative to understand the risks when trying to get a tan.

Firstly, it is a fact that sun damage, (tanning) leads to premature ageing of the skin including sun spots and wrinkles. Also ultra violet light from the sun can lead to vision impediment, and UV is strongly linked to skin cancer. Not only is lying in the sun dangerous but indoor tanning also comes with risks if you’re not armed with up to date information.

In the past tanning beds and lamps exposed the skin to even more harmful ultraviolet (UV) light than the sun. However today’s technology makes getting that tan much safer but it is essential to do research first.

Find a professional clinic and ask questions:

  • How long is the exposure? Modern ones only need 6/7 minutes (In the 80’s exposure time was 30 minutes and they gave you a lot of UVB range that had a tendency to burn rather than tan you )
  • Does the system offers maximum benefits without risk?
  • Do the staff have good expertise in the process?
  • Do they offer a safe and controlled environment?
  • Do they offer after care with creams and lotions?
  • Do they have the choice of booths or beds?

Be safe in the Sun

The UK alone diagnoses in excess of 100,000 skin cancers annually so protect yourself by following these SunSmart messages provided by UK’s national skin cancer prevention campaign:

  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm in the high risk months of May to September.
  • Cover up with a T-shirt, hat and wear sunglasses.
  • Use recommended sun screen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 with a high star rating and apply regularly.
  • Always take special care of children’s skin. The best way to do this is to cover them up and keep them in the shade.