"Tanning is bad for you because your body doesnt even begin to tan until dangerous ultraviolet UV rays have pierced your skin and started to mess with your DNA."
Dr Arun Ghosh
Last week heralded the start of Sun Awareness Week and for TV Doctor Dr Arun Ghosh, we’ve got to heed all the warnings and take more care in the sun.
“For my entire life and medical career, doctors have been advising that the sun can damage your skin and cause cancer,” said Dr Ghosh.
“Yet the message still does not seem to be getting home… having a tanned body is not necessarily having a healthy body!”
In truth, there is no safe amount of tanning. Tanning isn’t bad for you just because it comes with the risk of burning, which can cause skin cancer.
“Tanning is bad for you because your body doesn’t even begin to tan until dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays have pierced your skin and started to mess with your DNA.”
SPF 15 or higher was always recommended as the key part to a sun protection regimen and a sensible way to enjoy the sun especially when on holiday.
However, sunscreen alone was never enough.
Here are Dr Ghosh’s top tips for keeping safe, particularly as it’s (thankfully) a lovely sunny week:
• Seek the shade. Especially between 10 AM and 4 PM when away and 11am to 3pm in the UK
• Don’t get sunburnt. Not only does it prematurely age you…it is also the biggest cause linked to skin cancers.
• Never use UV tanning beds…for the same reasons as above
• Cover up. Especially when the sun is strong. Use clothing such as a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses to help protect your eyes too.
• Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. If you spend a lot of time outside or are very active, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
• Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
• It might sound obvious but please keep new-born babies out of the sun.