There is a deceptive idea that is crawling in our culture that a tan denotes health, prosperity and even beauty. This can be clearly seen in fashion magazines and the entertainment industry as a whole. The tanning industry itself is much more outspoken, deliberately and systematically promoting the “benefits” of tanning. A famous message from the industry claims that a tan offers protection against sunburn.
Although the message contains an intuitive appeal, scientists has proved it perverse and false. And so many people have come to believe that tanning gives them a healthy glowing skin. However, the bitter truth is that, whether burning tanning, you are exposing your body to harmful UV rays that destroy your skin. Actually, every time you tan, you increase your risk of melanoma. Your natural skin color is the true healthy glow you are looking after, and a tanned skin is never a healthy skin. A tan produced as a result of UV exposure offers, at best, a very low level of protection against sunburn. A scientific study done some years back to examine the effects of tanning revealed that a tanned skin plays a minimal role against sunburn. So do we still want to still insist that there exists a healthy tan? No.
In view of this, the tanning industry’s message that a tan offers protection against sunburn is unreasonable and dangerous. Am sure all people acquainted with this message are considering to visit tanning salons to acquire a baseline before vacationing in sunny climates. With a baseline tan, people are assured of false sense of security.
This is because one may decide to stay for a long period in the sun, and ignore to seek shade or use sunscreen. The amount of safety offered by the tan is so small and one can easily get burned. More importantly, prolonged UV exposure can lead to DNA damage, a suppressed immune system and photo-aging. And despite the fact that the tan may not be accompanied by a sunburn, DNA damage is not inevitable. The nominal protection supplied by baseline tan is only one part of the problem.
What is even more disturbing is new research findings about mechanisms and triggers for melanogenesis (the proliferation of melanocytes, the pigment cells where melanoma forms) and tanning due UV exposure. Moreover, UV injures the skin cells’ DNA and to maintain the integrity of the genetic code, repair enzymes are activated almost immediately to mend the damage.
However, in cells where irreparable or extensive damage has been done, these cells are switch on the pathway for controlled self-destruction (apoptosis). A huge amount of data demonstrate that DNA damage or DNA repair intermediates are powerful signals that initiate melanogenesis. In fact, in some studies, investigators have demonstrated this by inducing tanning with topical applications of DNA fragments.
Furthermore, maintenance of a tan requires continuous UV exposure, which has been linked with continual DNA photo-damage. The current idea is that tanning is a biological signal by the skin that reflects the presence of DNA impairment. So, do you still believe a tan is ever a good thing? From a health perspective, certainly not! The low level of photo protection offered by a tan is far outweighed by the damage incurred in its development and maintenance. But for those who still prefer tanned skin using a non-UV self-tanner is a better alternative.
Although this is only a temporary solution and it is important for one to continue use of sunscreen. So to conclude, am sure with the summer months fast approaching, many of us can’t wait to soak up the sunshine and try to achieve a healthy, tanned complexion. And even if you have managed in the past to attain that healthy looking bronzed glow, you can’t be confident that your skin is healthy. Too much exposure to sun is dangerous to your skin and I have proved that to you beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, a broader change is needed urgently.
We must change our culture’s unhealthy and deceptive misconception that a tanned skin implies health and beauty. We must be able to reason beyond what other people think and make our own healthy choices. A tan can never be healthy as long as health is concerned. Be proud of your natural complexion instead of endangering your life in pursuit of beauty. Make healthy choices today and live happily.
Do you still believe a tan is really healthy for your skin?
Is a tan healthy for our skin?