How healthy are tans?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Tans are not healthy. People used to think that a tan gave them a natural, healthy glow. But studies show that any time the skin turns darker with a tan, it's a sign of damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If you frequently expose your skin to UV rays, over time your skin will thicken and age prematurely. More alarming, your risk will increase for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, as well as melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer. Currently, one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime, so it's important to take precautions against sun damage, such as wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher before going outside.

Susan Evans
A tan is no different from a sunburn in terms of the effect on our skin. Tanning is an indication that your skin has been exposed to UV radiation; none of which is known to be safe.

Ever since a tan was the sign of health and vitality, we have been battling the culture of society about the dangers of sun damage to our skin. Back in the 1920s they didn't know much about the dangers of UV radiation, any more than they knew about the dangers of smoking. Now, we know so much more, and yet for some reason much of society still believes that a tan is the ultimate sign of good health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.