CAN A SUNTAN PROTECT YOU FROM SUN DAMAGE?

 Visiting a tanning salon for “base tan” will NOT protect your skin from DNA (cancer) injury.

(Pigment Cell Melanoma Research 02/2011) People with darker skin (such as African ancestry) tend to be much less susceptible to ultraviolet (sun) induced DNA damage (skin cancers) than those with lighter skin (such as Northern European ancestry). So many people have believed that tanning before full outside sun exposure can protect lighter skin against UV sun damage. Many individuals use tanning beds in a misguided effort to protect their skin from sun damage. Recent findings indicate that tanning beds, which use mostly UVA rays, do not afford any protection against subsequent DNA (cancer) damage. Therefore, you may get less sunburn by using a tanning bed before your vacation, but you have increased your chances of skin cancer. Better advice would be to buy a nice hat and some good sunscreen and use it!! Remember UVB may cause a burn, and the UVA in tanning beds may not, but it causes as much if, not more sun damage and future risk of cancer.