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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » being tan = bad?

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Author Topic: being tan = bad?
kick_artist
Neophyte
Member # 28575

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I apologize if this question's already been answered a billion times before, but I was reading some of the threads on tanning and getting a little paranoid...

I naturally have a little more pigment in my skin (half-Asian) and I very rarely burn... I usually get pretty tan every summer, just because I spend as much time as I can outside. I admit that I've never been very good about sunscreen, though I do try to use some if I know I'm going to be exposed for long periods of time, especially during the hottest parts of the day - like if I'm going to the beach or something.

This summer I got really dark. I did do a little bit of intentional tanning at the beginning of the summer, but my shoulders are very brown because of some outdoor camp projects I did a few weeks ago. A friend of mine told me that, since I hadn't burned, but just gradually grown more tan, this was healthy for my skin. Is that untrue? Should I try to prevent myself from getting this tan in future summers - is this putting me at higher risk for skin cancer? Is there such thing as a "healthy" tan, or, as a previous poster claimed, are all tans bad for you?

(Again, if I'm just asking a question that's been answered before, I apologize.)

Posts: 18 | From: New Hampshire | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
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Going without protection from the sun, whether you tend to tan, or sunburn, or neither, is harmful.

Exposure to UV rays can cause premature aging and wrinkling, as well as increase your risk of skin cancer.

Try to think of it as stuff you only get to do during the summer; use a good-smelling, moisturizing sunscreen, get out that nice pair of sunglasses, and slap on a cute hat! All of them provide good protection from the sun, in addition to looking your summer best. [Smile]

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nali
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Member # 24842

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Hey, I'm sorry if I was the poster that scared you...(I just went on a tanning rant)

If you've never burned, you might be one of the lucky few whose skin deals okay with UV damage. Many naturally dark-skinned people (for example, South-Asian Indians) rarely get skin cancer because their skin has adapted to being routinely exposed to the sun. BUT, I agree with Miss Lauren that you should still always wear sunscreen -- better safe than sorry! ANY tan is a sign that your skin is fighting UV damage. My doctor puts it this way: "A healthy tan is what you get when you try really really hard NOT to get tanned, but still get a little darker anyway because you can't completely avoid the gorgeous weather!"

Posts: 32 | From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

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Even if you don't burn, if you are a white-Asian hapa, you will wrinkle faster if you keep exposing your skin to the sun. Asian skin is remarkably more delicate than it seems.

ever seen the Asian ladies with the welding-helmet-looking sunshields? as doofy as those look, they're onto something.

me, i'm indoors and wearing SPF 48.

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