FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Forget all you heard about Vitamin D from the sun’s rays — the sun is not your friend, folks.

Tanning is not good for you, and sunscreen is your very best friend.

OK, so you think we’re crazy, but doctors and decades of research don’t lie. The sun is your skin’s worst enemy. Ultra violet rays are extremely harmful to your health many ways. Doctors at the Academy of Dermatology Convention in Miami cannot emphasize this enough: there is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan.

"There are two types of rays that you are exposed to," says Dr. Dale Isaacson, "UVB rays that give you that instant burn, and UVA rays that generally lead to tanning and in the future, skin cancer."

Some skin cancer types are treatable and curable by removing the damaged cells, but some cancers are deadly. Melanoma is one of the deadliest types of skin cancer in the world, and millions die from it each year. It starts out looking like a bad mole, but extra sun exposure mutates it and turns it into cancer which can spread through your entire body.

"If you notice any of those symptoms, see a dermatologist immediately," said Dr. Isaacson.

The sun not only poses health risk, but it poses cosmetic ones too. Dr Marilyn Berzin treats people for sun exposure in as early as their late twenties.

"When you expose yourself to too much sun, it can seriously mutate your skin, but even worse, it can cause early wrinkling. I treat many young women who have premature wrinkles on their face, and they’re not even thirty."

Patients see Dr Berzin for laser resurfacing procedures and Botox injections to remove wrinkles. These procedures are often painful, but they are considered important in a youth driven society.

“If you want to stay young, stay out of the sun," says Dr. Berzin. "There is nothing wrong with being pale. And those of you who are naturally pale need to apply extra sunscreen protection."

The higher the SPF on your sunscreen, the greater protection. And make sure to re-apply it twice if you stay out in the sun too long.
Take it from a girl who is as pale as can be, your skin stays soft and smooth when you use a sunscreen moisturizer everyday. And don’t forget to put some on when its cloudy, you can get sun exposure then too. So think about all of this when you head out to tan on the beaches this season. Cover up.

About The Author

Alexandra Smolen is a Blast correspondent while also a graduate from Emerson College. She majored in Broadcast Journalism.

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