MYTH #1: Tanning beds provide a protective base tan.
Some people believe they should use tanning beds to get a quick tan before summer comes, or before exposing themselves to a lot of sun, such as when on vacation. Tanning beds also emit UV radiation.
Tanning beds use high concentrations of UVA light to darken the skin quickly, whereas the sun includes both UVA and UVB light. UVA light, also known as long-wave light, accounts for about 95% of the UV light that reaches our skin. Although both UVA and UVB are bad for the skin, UVA rays are more of a threat because a much larger percentage of them reach the earth’s surface. They’re present all day long, year-round, even when it’s cloudy and the sun “isn’t out.” If you see daylight at any hour, UVA rays are present. UVB light is powerful also it’s directly responsible for sunburn and other visible changes to skin’s surface, including discolorations. UVB radiation also plays a role in skin cancers.
Exposing the body to high levels of UVA light from a tanning bed creates a temporary tan that will do very little to protect the skin from sun exposure and sunburns caused by UVB light.
UVA radiation is the main type of light used in most tanning beds. Once thought to be safe, we now know it is just the opposite. UVA is everywhere. There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan.
MYTH #2: Sunscreen is not always necessary, especially in the winter months.
Many people believe that sunscreen is only necessary when their entire body is exposed to sunlight, such as when at the pool or swimming in the ocean. Ultraviolet light is still harmful to exposed skin, no matter how much of it is exposed.
Some people also believe that sunscreen is not necessary on cloudy days because the sun does not feel as strong as usual. The truth is that anytime the body is exposed to light from the sun, it is exposed to UV rays. Even if it is an overcast day. In every season, skin-damaging UV rays pass through windows.
The lower arms and face are common areas to leave exposed throughout the day, which may increase their risk of sun damage. It is best to cover the exposed skin with sunscreen and consider other protective methods, such as wearing a hat.
The daily use of an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and sun-related skin damage such as wrinkling, pigmentation and loss of elasticity.
MYTH #3: One application of sunscreen lasts all day.
Many people think that sunscreen will last all day after just one application. In reality, sunscreen breaks down in the light and loses its effectiveness over a short period of time.
People should apply sunscreen every 2 to 4 hours, at least.