Summer and Beach Season is Almost Here: The Risks of Tanning!

It’s almost here, summer, and I think just about every college student is ready to relax in the sun and not have to worry about school for a little while. Summer is not just a time for students to relax and not stress out from their recent semester at college, but it is also a time for students to explore and get away. Take vacations, visit friends and family, and most importantly, go to the beach! Summer is in fact the beach season for most Floridians. It is a great time of the year to settle down in the sand and not have a worry in the world but get a little tan. While all this sounds extremely fun, students need to still be extremely careful in how much tanning they do this summer and when they do, they need to make sure to wear as much sunscreen as possible, for the side effects of not wearing sunscreen can be traumatic. UV radiation, whether from natural or artificial sources, damages skin. Below are some of the short and long term effects of UV exposure and the effects of tanning.

Tanning Can Cause Premature Aging: Sometimes referred to as “photo-aging,” premature aging is the result of unprotected UV exposure. It takes the form of leathery, wrinkled skin and dark spots. Frequent sunburns or hours spent tanning can result in permanent darkening of the skin, dark spots, and a leathery texture.  This is a long-term effect of UV exposure, meaning it may not show on your skin until many years later.

Tanning Can Cause Skin Cancer: Predisposition to skin cancer can be hereditary, meaning it is passed through the generations of a family through genes. There is also strong evidence suggesting that exposure to UV rays, both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer. By damaging the DNA in skin cells, causing the skin to grow abnormally and develop benign or malignant growths. Tanning also weakens the immune system and compromises the body’s natural defense against aggressive cancer cells.

Tanning Can Cause Eye Damage: Tanning can cause eye damage. It is caused by intense UVC/UVB exposure of the eye. By tanning without wearing sunscreen, the symptoms leading from eye damage are tearing of the eye, pain, swollen eyelids, a feeling of sand in the eye and hazy or decreased vision.

Now that you know some of the major symptoms that are caused due to constant tanning without sunscreen, make sure to always cover yourself up in sunscreen so that you can still have an amazing summer without all the harmful side effects!

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