October 10, 2008, Newsletter Issue #162: Who Shouldn't Tan

Tip of the Week

While this may seem like a silly question, the truth is that not everybody should tan. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration together with the American Academy of Dermatology have developed a skin type chart that includes six distinct skin types. The skin types are based on the degree of sun-sensitivity and skin tone. P

eople with skin types I and II are the lightest skinned, most sun-sensitive types. According to the FDA and AAD, these people should avoid outdoor tanning. Even indoor tanning, with its timed exposure in a controlled setting, is probably something that should be avoided for skin types I and II.

Anyone who continues to be exposed outdoors normally for work or play should consider that they probably don't need to spend extra time outdoors or in a tanning booth to tan.

Also, anyone taking medication should consult with their physician to see if tanning is okay. Some medications increase sun-sensitivity so that someone who would otherwise tan might receive a nasty burn. There are other medical conditions that put people at risk for developing complications from tanning. If you have any doubt, ask your doctor.

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