A Healthy Tan

A Healthy Tan. Not!

There is no such thing as a healthy tan. We all need to protect ourselves from sun damage and skin cancer. It’s a misperception that people with more melanin, the natural pigment that determines skin color, aren’t at risk. While fair-skinned people may sunburn more quickly, all types of skin are at risk of skin cancer from too much exposure to the sun.

sun tanIf you’re going to be outside, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply often, especially if you’re in the water. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays and a broad-brimmed hat.

If you’re going to be outdoors for several hours, wear sunscreen under light clothing. It’s especially important to protect babies and young children from the damaging rays of the sun. Babies younger than six months need to be kept out of the sun, so keep their skin covered and their strollers or carriers shaded.

Sunscreen is generally considered safe for children older than 6 months, but check with your pediatrician first. Sunglasses and hats are great for all ages. Read more on sun safety.


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