Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sun addiction

Now that it appears the sun might actually shine a little in these parts, it’s time for us pasty-faced Oregonians to consider when and how we expose our skin to ultraviolet rays. It’s because it feels so good to be warmed by the sun that we forget how habit-forming tanning can be for some people.

Many people think a tan protects them by helping block the damaging effects of UV radiation. That’s wrong, as a tan actually represents skin damage. Even brief exposure to ultraviolet light can cause mutations in the DNA of skin cells, including the melanocytes, the host cells for melanoma. Accumulate enough of those mutations and a cancer can result. It did for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since I live on the road I may quote USA Today. It seems that the FDA has admitted that all sun screens on the market provide little or no protection from UVA rays. A requirement was planned for May to remedy this but has been delayed until October. Time for more rays! But in the same edition it is noted that the highest percentage of damage from UVA is from tanning beds. I guess the beaches of Florida loose no matter what.