As a skin therapist, I am used to being a game spoiler for the sun.😉 Therefore, I dare to shake the belief in a healthy tan!
What is meant by “healthy” browning?
Probably the way to the tan was NOT paved by sunburns. Sunburns are rightly considered unhealthy because they show the acute damage to the skin cells. Sunburns are caused by the UVB rays, because these are energy-efficient.
How do you get brown?
The sunlight consists of UVA and UVB rays. UVA ensures a quick tan through a redistribution of the existing pigment in the skin (the melanin). UVB rays ensure a new formation of melanin. This tan provides a cure before further UVB radiation and ensures long-lasting tan.
What happens with a sunburns?
In short, it is a combustion by UVB rays. In contrast to a “normal” burn, it takes about 6h until the redness becomes visible (maximum saturation after 12-24 hours). So you always notice too late that you were too long in the sun!
Why is tan not “healthy” without sunburns?
Browning is a protective mechanism of the body from too much UV rays, thus a defensive reaction of the body. In addition, brown skin shows that you have already received a certain dose of UV rays. And even without sunburns, UVA and UVB rays have different long-term effects in the skin.
The long-wave UV-A radiation reaches deep skin layers (up to the skin of the leather). There, the collagen fibers are located and when these are damaged, this leads to loss of elasticity with wrinkling (the so-called photoaging). The relationship between UVA rays and the development of white skin cancer is clearly demonstrated; The risk increases proportionally to the amount of radiation you have received in life. The tricky is that these rays also penetrate glass and window pane: one is thus not protected during driving. Furthermore, they do not cause sunburns and therefore you do not get a warning from the skin, when it is too much! UVA radiation also plays a role in the development of “black” skin cancer (melanoma).
The short-wave UV-B radiation penetrates into the skin. As already stated, it causes the formation of melanin (also browning), which also serves as a light protection. She is also responsible for the formation of vitamin D in the skin. Disadvantages of these rays are not only a possible sundial, but above all a damage to the genome of the cells, so that the risk of a melanoma increases.
So what should you pay particular attention to?
- Avoid short-term intensive sunbathing.
- No tanning visits.
- The choice of a good sunscreen with UVB and UVA filter (the recommended ratio of at least 3: 1 is marked on the packaging with a UVA mark).
- Use sun protection also in the car or sunny office.
The general recommendations like the stay in the shade, avoid the lunch and protection by clothes are you I think anyway well-known. If you work properly with the sun, you can also enjoy them without worries. 🙂
About the author:
Dr. Julia Laemmerhirt is a dermatologist and acne expert in Vienna, Austria. She supports people who want to holistically gain control of their skin complications and acne. Ayurveda - the traditional Indian practice of medicine - plays a decisive role for her because of its particular focus on one’s nutrition and lifestyle.
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