There Is No Such Thing as a Safe Tan

There is no such thing as a safe tan. Tanned skin is damaged skin and increases your risk for melanoma.

Too much sun!

Tanned skin is damaged skin. It’s that simple.

Lots of people think that getting a “light” tan is protective against sunburns. It’s faulty logic. When your skin tans, or (more aptly, burns), it’s the direct result of DNA changes in your skin cells. Those cells are permanently damaged.

A new study from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences shows a direct link between UV-induced melanin formation (tanning) and the formation of melanoma in mammals. Skin melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers. Look at these statistics:

  • One person dies of melanoma every hour in the US.
  • In the US the percentage of people who develop melanoma has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in 25-29 year olds.
  • Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in 15-29 year olds.
  • Melanoma is increasing faster in females 15-29 years old than males in the same age group.
The only safe tan you can get is no tan at all.

For more information about melanoma, visit the American Melanoma Foundation and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Photo credit: FCC, Alan Light