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Sun Damage

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Sun Danage

The Dark Side of the Sun

Suntans have been in vogue since Coco Chanel accidentally became tanned after yachting on the French Riviera. Her bronzed skin became the new representation of wealth. Despite warnings from dermatologists that UV radiation is a known carcinogen, the public still seeks the sun, searching for that bronzed, "healthy" glow. This behavior, however, has disturbing consequences. Physicians are now seeing an alarming spike in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. In fact, one study found that melanoma cases in young women jumped 50 percent since 1980.

Since its inception in 1979, The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one important part of a sun protection regimen. Sunscreen alone is not enough, however. Read our full list of skin cancer prevention tips.

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning booths.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
  • Use a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.


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