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Medical Which method of tanning is safer (cancer-wise)

  1. Jan 26, 2010 #1

    Mentallic

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    I am curious as to which method of tanning is safer (cancer-wise). Either by sitting out in the sun a shorter period with the use of mirrors to concentrate the intensity of the sunlight hitting your skin, or being exposed for longer periods in the conventional way. Maybe even taking this to more of an extreme and tan for even longer in the earlier or later hours of the day when the sun isn't highest in the sky.

    I've also noticed that you're less likely to peel if the sunlight is less intense over longer periods, but would this have the same effect as if we tanned for a much shorter period with higher intensities of UV?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2010 #2
    Re: Tanning


    Generally any biologic adaptation occurs more safely over longer periods of time and the stimulus is progressive.

    Exposure to high energy UV / or very high UV flux is unsafe. Even commercial apparatus used in cosmetic salons can cause severe burns on overexposure, although the energy of the radiation is in theory strictly controlled, and considered in the safe ranges.
     
  4. Jan 26, 2010 #3
    Re: Tanning

    The current thinking in the medical community on any tan, whether it is naturally or artificially induced, is that "no tan is a safe tan."

    You can google the "no tan is a safe tan" phrase to get some popular journalism accounts or you can visit the American Academy of Dermatology website and their PSA about indoor tanning.
     
  5. Jan 26, 2010 #4

    Mentallic

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    Re: Tanning

    Thanks this is what I'm looking for. Can you possibly provide some evidence to support this claim?

    I was already aware of this, which is why I've asked which tanning method is safer :tongue:
     
  6. Apr 16, 2010 #5
    Re: Tanning

    It is safer if you know the limitation of using it but when you over exposure, it can cause skin cancer or complication. The best way when you get a tan (using tanning machines), you should know the limited time to be spend by that machines.
     
  7. Apr 16, 2010 #6

    Mentallic

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    Re: Tanning

    How are tanning machines the best way to get a tan?
     
  8. Apr 16, 2010 #7
    Re: Tanning

    Some years ago Scientific American had an article about skin color versus sunlight exposure. They reported that in populations that had not migrated, skin color had adjusted to the optimum balance between the detrimental effects of sunlight such as skin cancer and the beneficial effects such as vitamin D production. It seems that lack of vitamin D can be as serious a problem as skin cancer when averaged over large populations.
     
  9. Apr 16, 2010 #8
    Re: Tanning

    Very interesting. Thanks for the information. Do you remember off-hand if they actually discussed sun burns and the evolution of skin color? I will attempt to find the article on my own, I just wondered if you remembered.
     
  10. Apr 16, 2010 #9
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