I grew up in Florida, one of the hottest states in U.S. and I know what a sun burn is like better than anyone! Going tan was the best thing about the hot sun but often I used to get rashes and sunburns all over my body. Well, I didn’t care that time as going to beaches, glistening your body with coconut oil and roasting yourself were the best days of my life. My siblings and I used to compete for the best tan and I would always win! It’s not that we didn’t use sunscreens; we did thinking it will protect us from the sweltering sun. But back then I didn’t realize sunscreens are not always 100% effective.
It was a hell of a trip down the memory lane! Memories aside, now, every time I go back to my home town I tell my friends and families that sun tan is not that healthy as people have presumed it to be. Being a beautician I know how it’s important to take care of your skin and I make sure every products and methods are safe before trying them out. I landed an article written by Dr. Ross Perry who revealed that getting sun tanned is not always safe.
That was my reaction when I first found out about the harmful effects of sun tan. From sun burn to melanoma (a type of skin cancer), today I’m going to clarify all the myths about sun tan. Stay put!
#1 Tan is Healthy But Not always
Though there are tons of benefits of sunlight like getting the required amount of Vitamin D or enhancing your mood, regular sun bathing cannot be considered a healthy life style choice. Long-term exposure to UV rays during the peak hours of the day can significantly damage your skin. Tan is the response of skin to sun damage. I know a sexy tan is wonderful to flaunt but the long exposure of harmful sun rays will do no good for your skin. According to Dr Ross,”
“A burn is when the skin is damaged by the sun which creates redness, inflammation and pain. A tan is when the melanin’s natural colourant darkens. A tan is not unhealthy or dangerous, as long as it’s achieved gradually and slowly.”
I guess you get the point.
#2 Tan can cause blisters
Another myth about sun tan is ‘you don’t get rash or blisters from it.” But it’s not true. If you had sun burns and rashes when you were a kid, you’re more likely to get blisters and peels as an adult. If you are planning to throw a beach party all day long then you might want to think it through because blisters can appear after staying several hours in the sun. These blisters are very painful and once it heals, it leaves darker spots on skin, making it look ugly. Hence, it’s important to be extra cautious when you are thinking of going for a sun tan. To add more, you’re even at a double risk of melanoma.
Also Read: 5 Amazing Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
#3 Damage your eyes
UV rays and other radiation from sun are a potential threat to your eyes. You might say, there are different specialized sunglasses to protect your eyes but studies have shown that extended exposure of eyes to sun’s UV rays can cause eye damage like macular degenration, pterygia, cataract and so on. Not only this, people who have low blood plasma levels of vitamin C and antioxidants are more at risk of retinal damage. The regular sunglasses that we use do not block 100% of UV rays and other HEV(high energy visible light) ray, making your more prone to eye disorders and discomforts.
#4 Heat Stroke
If you don’t know what a heat stroke is, then it is the condition caused due to over heat where your body fails to regulate the temperature. The thermal irregularity in the body then leads to over heating causing several alterations in the entire body system like flushed skin, racing heart, headache, sweating, seizures, nausea and so on. Prolonged exposure in the sun and excessive dehydration can cause heat stroke and believe me, heat stroke is a serious condition that can even take away your life. Hence, its important to be aware about the side effects of sun tan and know that your going bronze at the extent of your life.
#5 Skin Cancer
A bad sun burn doubles the risk of skin cancer, especially in children. You might think that a suntan and a sunburn is a completely different thing but the major similarity is that sun tan is also produced by the exposure to the harmful UV rays that can potentially damage our DNA and skin cells, leading to cancer. Sophie Balk, a skin cancer research found evidence that the “tanning response means that DNA damage has occurred in skin.” Also another report published by the International Agent for Research on Cancer state that tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation increase the risk of skin cancer by 75% for those who use tanning beds before the age of 30.
You might also be interested in: Heat Strokes: How Can You Prevent It?