September 26, 2008, Newsletter Issue #160: Tanning Safety vs. Risk

Tip of the Week

Throughout history, people sought the golden glow of a suntan as a symbol of wealth, beauty, power, and knowledge. Over the past forty years, a debate has been brewing over the safety of tanning. They want to determine whether tanning outdoors or indoors using a tanning bed. Proponents of tanning say that, in moderation, tanning lends a sense of well-being and actually provides relief from certain health conditions. Detractors warn that tanning leads to skin cancer and, possibly, death.

The truth is that both sides are right. Done right, tanning, or exposing yourself to UV-A and UV-B light, can provide cosmetic benefits to most people and health benefits to some with specific health conditions. Done wrong, tanning can lead to skin damage ranging from sunburn to skin cancer. The key to tanning safely is knowing your skin type and controlling your exposure to UV-A and UV-B.

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