Sun tanning could be harming your skin if you're not protected

Posted at 12:34 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 14:13:43-04

While soaking up sun rays can give you a good tan, doctors say that the sun could be doing more damage to your skin than you know.

The ultra violet radiation we receive from the sun, especially during the peak hours of the day, is a known carcinogen according to doctors. Therefore doctors said without protection your skin could be damaged beyond repair.

However, the EPA's UV index website and app allows people to track the sun rays in their area, so they can have an idea of when to avoid going outdoors if possible.

Statistics show 1 in 5 Americans will get a skin cancer at some point in their lifetime, and one American dies from it every hour.

Dr. Katie Fiaola, a dermatologist at Baylor Scott & White, said this is why she warns people that sunscreen isn't just for those sunny days at the beach, instead this should be a part of everyone’s daily routine. Using it properly can ensure their skin is fully protected.

"The most common kind of skin cancer is basal cell skin cancer, the second most common squamous cell skin cancer, and the least common of those three major ones is melanoma but it's the deadliest,” Fiaola said.

Dr. Fiaola said parents should also protect their kids skin with sunscreen, and monitoring the number of freckles they have. Everyone is at risk of getting sun burned or more serious damage, but Fiaola said some people have a higher risk or skin cancer than others.

"The darker your skin is the more melanocytes you have they're little cells that kind of help protect our body from the sun so even though you’re darker and have more protection you still could get a skin cancer,” Fiaola said.

Doctors said people with fair skin have a higher risk for skin cancer but they recommend everyone use a sunscreen with broad protection and it should be at least SPF 50. 

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