UV Myths Debunked

July is UV Safety Month, and we’re outlining the most common myths about skin cancer and tanning. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, which is project to affect more than 76,000 Americans in 2013. In hopes of decreasing that number, we’re setting the record straight on popular UV misconceptions.

UV Myth vs. Fact


Myth: People with darker skin don’t get skin cancer.

Fact: People with darker skin are less likely to get skin cancer, but they are more likely to die from it. In fact, tanned or naturally-dark skin can make it more difficult to spot signs of skin cancer.


Myth: Young people can’t get skin cancer.

Fact: Your risk of skin cancer increases as you age, but more and more younger people are getting skin cancer due to improper protection against the sun. Being vigilant now will drastically reduce your chances later. Younger people also don’t understand the risks of using tanning beds, which can drastically increase your chances of getting skin cancer.


Myth: Tanning is a good way to get sufficient vitamin D.

Fact: You can get a sufficient amount of vitamin D just by taking a brief walk in the sun— using sunscreen, of course. You don’t need to burn or tan to get your daily vitamin D intake. In fact, it’s found in many foods like fish, eggs and dairy products.


Myth: Tanning beds are a safer solution because they have a controlled dose of UV rays.

Fact: Depending on the type of booth, just ten minutes in a tanning bed can be equivalent to up to 3 hours in the sun and emit both UVA and UVB rays. According to the CDC, people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 75% higher risk of melanoma than those who don’t.


Myth: A “base tan” protects from sunburn.

Fact: Any type of tan or burn is the product of sun damage. UV damage causes your skin to produce more pigment. In result, a tan appears in an attempt to repair the damage.


Myth: Clouds protect from getting sunburned.

Fact: The sun’s UVA rays don’t discriminate, and they can do just as much damage on a cloudy day. They can actually be even more dangerous, as you’re less likely to realize your skin is burning.


Protect yourself from skin cancer by knowing the facts. Celebrate this important awareness month by applying (and reapplying) sunscreen every day you’re out in the sun. Encourage your friends and family to adopt good sun habits as well. Be sure to share our blog post and spread the world to help make July a successful UV Safety Month.

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