The Dark Truth Behind Sun Tanning

sun tanningIf you’re one of those men and women who deliberately spend a lot of time outdoors to get the so-called healthy glow, we’re the bearer of bad news: there is no such thing as a healthy tan. No matter which angle you look at it from, exposure to ultraviolet radiation will always lead to signs of sun-damaged skin including wrinkles, brown spots, and uneven skin tone.

Beyond the sun-kissed look
The sun-kissed look may be attractive (at least by yesterday’s standards of beauty), but beyond the reddish or golden glow is a wrinkle or brown spot waiting to appear.

Ultraviolet radiation comes in three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is the strongest of the three, and fortunately, the atmosphere’s ozone layer absorbs majority of the harmful radiation it emits. UVA radiation tends to reach the deeper layers of the skin resulting in the common signs of physical aging like age spots and wrinkles. Meanwhile, UVB radiation can lead to sunburns as most of it is absorbed by the epidermis or superficial layers of the skin.

How to reduce sun damage
Ultimately, there is no way for us to completely avoid the sun. However, taking the following steps can significantly reduce the damage from exposure to both UVA and UVB radiation:

  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and UVA/UVB broad-spectrum protection. Follow label instructions regarding frequency and amount of sunscreen to be applied. And don’t forget to protect the lips!
  • Cover up with sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Avoid high altitudes as much as you can because with every 1000 meters increase in altitude, UV levels rises by 10% to 12%.

Visit us at Matsuda Dermatology today and we’ll help you come with a personalized skin care plan that includes steps to avoid sun-damaged skin. Call 808-949-7568 today to set up an appointment!