Is a tan skin damage?

As we get deep into the summer and head to the beaches and pools to cool off from the heat many of us spend hours in the sun trying to get a tan. The intention of us when spending time in the sun is to tan but unfortunately for many of us this turns into something more harmful such as sunburn and other issues related with skin damage caused by the sun.

Our intention when spending time in the sun is not to get a sunburn but rather a tan. We all agree that sunburns are harmful and can even interfere with your daily life. But did you know that tanning even without a sunburn is not so safe?

We have written in past articles extensively about sun damage and the importance of using sunscreen. As we tan what happens is that when the UV lights impact your skin the skin tries to put a stop to more damage from the sun by producing melanin that protect the skin from sun. Melanin are pigments that provide our skin colour so as you can see tanning is not safe due to our skin’s reaction to the UV exposure. What we call a tan is our skin’s reaction to the UV rays and trying to stop these UV rays from damaging our skin further which we call tan.

When it comes to tan vs sunburn many of us are happy when we get a tan and not a sunburn and think that the tan is not harmful. But according to some dermatologists even if you do not get a sunburn and get a tan your skin is already damaged.

You see when you tan sun’s  most harmful rays which are called UVA rays penetrate deep into your skin. These UVA rays impact the middle layer of your skin referred to as dermis and are usually associated with long term skin damage.

Tanning and aging

As we mentioned when the sun impacts your skin our skin reacts by producing melanin to prevent further damage as the sun impacts our skin. But this excess melanin produced by our skin is not an impassable protection.

The UV rays that get through will cause skin damage which also destroys collagen and fibres which are essential in maintaining the skin flexible. It has been shown in numerous experiments that UV rays destroy the skin’s collagen. Continuous exposure to UV rays damages the collagen located in the dermis and this will lead to needing treatment to repair the damaged skin.

Eventually your body cannot efficiently react when it comes to producing more collagen and skin damage will appear. This damage will appear in the forms of wrinkles and sagging skin which contribute to premature aging.

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