Health Watch — Summer Skin: Tanning

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about taking care of your skin in the summer. The main thing to remember is that you must protect your skin from the sun to prevent aging and skin cancer. But how do you get that healthy summer glow if you have to stay out of the sun or use sun block?

Dr. Stan Taylor, a skin cancer expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says indoor tanning beds aren’t the answer. They can cause damage very similar to that caused by the sun, which raises your risk for cancer and aging. Any exposure to ultraviolet light — whether from the sun or from tanning lamps — causes changes in the DNA of skin cells. A tan is actually a sign that the skin has been damaged. If you really want to look bronzed, look for sunless tanning lotions or bronzing cosmetics. Don’t forget the sunscreen, since the tan provided by these products offers no sun protection.


July 2007

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