Common tanning mythsCommon myths about tanning.
By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM
Myth: A suntan is better than a sunburn.
“It’s the same thing,” says Dr. Rachel Ness, dermatologist with Dermatology Associates in Fargo.
“There’s no such thing as a safe tan when it involves UV exposure,” she adds.
Myth: Indoor tanning is safer than tanning in the sun.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says both are dangerous.
“You can still get a burn from tanning indoors, and even a tan indicates damage to your skin,” the CDC says.
Dermatology Daily reports that new findings based on the Minnesota Skin Health Study suggest indoor tanning may be more strongly associated with melanoma than sunburns.
Myth: A “base tan” provides sunburn protection.
The World Health Organization says an indoor tan offers minimal protection against sunburn.
“You’re getting a head-start on your DNA damage before you go on your trip,” Dr. Ness says.
Myth: Indoor tanning is a safe way to get vitamin D.
The CDC says the safest way to get enough vitamin D is through diet and supplements.
“For a couple cents a day, you can take a vitamin D supplement and bypass all the UV damage risk,” Dr. Ness says.
Myth(?): Tanning can help improve skin conditions.
Well, sort of.
Dr. Susan Mathison, a physician and founder of Catalyst Medical Center in Fargo, says UV waves can decrease the activity of acne-causing bacteria, but it’s not a long-term solution.
The WHO says medical UV devices can treat dermatitis and psoriasis, but they should only be used “under qualified medical supervision in an approved medical clinic.”