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Sun Tanning and Skin Cancer: What's the Connection?

Mar 19, 2008
If you like to suntan, you have probably been warned by many of your friends and family members that you are going to get skin cancer. "You better stay out of the sun," they caution, "or you will certainly get cancer."

When listening to your friends and family - and even when listening to the news - you may have started to believe all of the hype. But, is it true? Are you guaranteed to fall ill with skin cancer if you choose to enjoy some time in the sun and to get a great tan?

The simple answer is "no." While exposure to the sun can certainly increase your risk of developing skin cancer later in life, there is no certainty that spending time in the sun is going to lead to cancer. In fact, if you tan responsibly, you won't be any more likely to develop skin cancer than someone that doesn't suntan.

The key to understanding the link between sun tanning and skin cancer is overexposure. While some scientist believe that overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, not all scientists are in agreement. In addition, even those that do find a link between the sun and skin cancer agree that the link is only found when the exposure is excessive. These scientists also agree that other factors, such as heredity, play a role in whether or not someone develops skin cancer. In fact, the amount of sun exposure that is considered to be "excessive" may be different from one person to the next because of hereditary issues.

Since more research is needed in order to determine for certain whether or not sun exposure leads to skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests avoiding the sun between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. They also encourage wearing sun block while outdoors. Keep in mind, however, that you can still wear sun block and achieve a tan. In fact, wearing sun block while acquiring a tan slowly is not only safer for you, it will also help you develop a deeper, darker tan that will last longer.

It is also important to note that skin cancer is not tied to people who simply tan their skin in a responsible manner. Rather, it has been connected with people who experience damage to their skin from the sun, such as a sunburn. In addition, the damage you do to your skin while you are younger is more likely to result in skin cancer, not the sun exposure you experience while you are an adult. Nonetheless, it is best to follow precautions and to tan in a responsible manner so your skin can look great and stay healthy for years to come.
About the Author
Baxter Owens is the developer of www.tantans.com, a premium Tanning Lotion website & vendor. TanTans.com offers premium tanning lotion at wholesale prices, including California Tan. Visit www.tantans.com today for all of your tanning lotion needs!
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