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What sunbathing does to your skin

To sunbathe or not to sunbathe, that is the question! We all know that long hours under the sun is not good for the skin. But damage can occur from both good old-fashioned sunbathing and indoor sunbathing. We look at why people who want a bronze glow and the risks of tanning.

How did tanning beds become so popular?
According to historical reports, sunbathing came in the 1920s. Apparently the trend was launched by fashion icon Coco Chanel; in 1923, she was photographed sun-kissed while on holiday on the Duke of Westminster's Mediterranean yacht. Five years later, fashion designer Jean Patou launched the first tanning oil, Huile de Chaldee. More brands then jumped on the bandwagon, sparking a boom in the tanning industry. The rest is history!

Why do people get tan?
A simple reason:they think a tan looks good. In a study published in 2010, photos of 45 women between the ages of 21 and 35 were uploaded to a website for members of the public to rate on a scale of attractiveness from 1 to 10. A digitally added “tanned” version of the photos was then added. re-uploaded; another average rating was then calculated using the same criteria. The results showed that 30 of the 45 uploaded photos had a higher rating with the added color than without.
Many who tan intentionally do so because they think a tanned complexion looks more attractive. Cultural reasons also play a role. A 2007 study of young adults in Chicago confirmed the positive connotations of tanning; 81 percent of the respondents found people with a color more attractive.

The risks of sunbathing
Do you love your time in the sun? If you skipped the sunscreen, the price to pay can be painful:lobster-red sunburn that feels painful. Ouch! Sunburn, scientifically known as erythema, is the most obvious sign of short-term skin damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. It usually comes with redness and peeling after a few days.

Skin cancer is a major danger of excessive tanning. According to the FDA, UV radiation from indoor sunlamps and tanning beds can cause irreversible damage to the eyes and suppress your immune system, making you more susceptible to diseases such as skin cancer. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun can aggravate two forms of skin cancer:melanoma and non-melanoma. The former is responsible for the most deaths from skin cancer each year. It starts with the epidermal cells that produce melanin, while non-melanomas develop in the basal or squamous cells at the base of the epidermis.

Aesthetic concerns
The effects of tanning can be harsh on the skin, especially with years of sun damage and UV exposure from indoor tanning. Once UV radiation hits the skin, melanin production increases to protect it from more damage. This will darken your skin tone over the next few days. The increase in melanin production is a form of skin damage. Photoaging (or premature aging) comes in the form of sun spots, freckles and texture problems such as wrinkles and sagging. Hyperpigmentation is common, which can be difficult to remove without aesthetic treatments such as lasers and peels!

Most importantly, don't forget your daily sunscreen! Daily use of an SPF 30 sunscreen can lower the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.