No safe way to get suntan: UK experts

No safe way to get suntan: UK experts


There is no safe or healthy way to get a tan from sunlight, UK experts have warned, suggesting that the benefits from building up vitamin D from the Sun have to be balanced with the risks of skin cancer.

New guidance from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said that an existing tan provides little protection against Sun exposure.

People should use at least factor 15 Sun cream, with adults urged to use 6-8 teaspoons per application, researchers said.

Some exposure to sunlight can help to build up low levels of vitamin D, but it is not enough to get enough vitamin D by sitting next to a closed sunny window, they said.

The guidance recommended people to expose their arms and legs to the Sun for short periods in order to build up vitamin D, and to re-apply sunscreen after being in the water, after towel drying, sweating or when it may have rubbed off, ‘BBC News’ reported.

Babies and children, those with fair skin, people with lots of moles or freckles and those with a family history of skin cancer should take extra care in the Sun, and cream should also be applied twice – once half an hour before going out and again before going in the Sun – if people are going out long enough to risk burning, the guidelines said.

“How much time we should spend in the sun depends on a number of factors including geographical location, time of day and year, weather conditions and natural skin colour,” said Gillian Leng, director of health and social care at NICE.

“People with lighter skin, people who work outside and those of us who enjoy holidays in sunny countries all have a higher risk of experiencing skin damage and developing skin cancer,” Leng said.

“On the other hand, people who cover up for cultural reasons, are housebound or otherwise confined indoors for long periods of time are all at higher risk of low vitamin D levels,” she added.

Read More: No safe way to get suntan: UK experts


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