Health Watch — Spring Break: 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.

It’s the season for spring break, and this week on Health Watch, we’ll offer tips for a safe, healthy spring break, whether you’re heading to the beach or to the ski slopes.

If you’ll be exposing your winter-white body by wearing a swimsuit at the beach or at the ski-resort hot tub, doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say you shouldn’t turn to tanning beds to get some color. Dr. Stan Taylor, a UT Southwestern skin cancer expert, says any ultraviolet light — the kind of light that causes your skin to change colors — is dangerous. If it’s making you tan, it’s also damaging the DNA in your skin cells, which could lead to cancer. Sunless tanning lotions can give you color more safely, but remember that the tan you get from lotions doesn’t protect you from the sun. Wear sunscreen, too.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical service in cancer. 


March 2008

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