about sun exposure?

(78 Posts)

I posted last night asking for advice about sunscreen as yesterday I tanned through factor 50 (although the children were wearing the same and didn't catch the sun at all). I did the same on Facebook and had a friend chide me for moaning because apparently "It's a beautiful colour tan and you know your skin is safe because you used F50". hmm There were several other comments along similar lines.

I thought it was common knowledge now that any tan is a sign of skin damage but Facebook and Twitter today are full of people gleefully displaying their tans and sunburn. Am I being a bit OTT about this?

(I'm sure someone will mention vitamin D. If the children and I are only going to be in the sun for a short time I don't bother with sunscreen as I know that some exposure is necessary.).

valiumredhead Sun 07-Jul-13 10:02:58


fairylightsinthespring Sun 07-Jul-13 10:05:28

The only question in your OP is are you being OTT to which I would say yes actually. I love seeing a bit of a tan on my two, (by which I mean a reasonable tan, less than pasty white but not glowing red obviously) They have SPF 50 on and usually shorts and T shirts rather than swimming cossies on the beach, but I do think its good to have some fresh air and sun exposure, not just for VIt D but general wellbeing. Am not remotely approaching this from a scientific point of view, but is just my feeling. Neither they, nor I or DP burn easily. I understand that people who burn easily need to be very cautious, but otherwise, no.

MousyMouse Sun 07-Jul-13 10:12:17

I would really like to see skin cancer stats about france, where children and adults look really tanned at the end of summer.

Rosa Sun 07-Jul-13 10:12:41

Everything in reason IMO... My dds are exposed quite a bit in the sun.. Factor 50 hats , glasses and in the shade in the midday. They have obvious costume marks ... They have never burnt . They both hate the sun suits at home as they make them too hot. They wear in the Uk when they want. However in the Uk they like wearing wet suits as well. As long as they don't burn I am not overly bothered. DD2 has very pale eyes and she has to wear sunglasses...as told by doc so we stick to that rule. Both had vitamin drops as babies as well.

Mousy I was just about to say I want to know the skin cancer rates for countries like France, Italy, Bulgaria, Sweden etc All places where I see people being really tanned. Not Australia because that's a different example.

I've always thought that as long as you are wearing a decent SPF you will be alright if you just get a little tan.

Most people aren't the colour they were born because they have had some sun exposure and a large proportion of people have sun exposure without getting skin cancer etc I don't think suncream even used to exist and people would be out in the sun a lot and got tanned with getting cancer. I know the oz layer business etc but I still think you can get some level of tan without it being dangerous, so yes I do think you're being very OTT.

Tee2072 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:26:44

Your skin turns dark to protect it.

Tanned skin is damaged skin.

The media, however, have decided that tan is healthy and pale is unhealthy.

The media lies.

You are not OTT OP. You are right. The tanned and burned people are wrong. And someday will pay for it with cancer, early wrinkles and general ill health.

Tee2072 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:28:45
BoundandRebound Sun 07-Jul-13 10:33:00

I think youre right and wrong

Burnt skin is damaged skin, tanned skin without burning is not damaged, its the skin protecting itself from damage

You seem to be seeing the natural protection as damage

Branleuse Sun 07-Jul-13 10:34:37

youre being completely over the top

So from the cancer research stats, Southern and Central Europe are relatively low in the Caucasian group. Lots of these places have lots of sun and lots of people who are very tanned. I don't think that all of them have had or are going to have skin cancer.

I'd think South America is skewed by the amount of non-white people there.

It's burning that's the problem and I can't see why a tan would lead to 'general ill health' x

MolotovCocktail Sun 07-Jul-13 10:45:03

I completely agree with Bound

It's strong sun out there and there is no way if go out without SPF 30 for me (I'm olive skinned).

I wouldn't freak out though, if I tanned through the sun cream. You know whether you were sensible in the sun or not (i.e. seeking shade between 12-3pm; keeping well hydrated; applying and re-applying sunscreen - did you remember to reapply, btw?)

So, rather than BU, I think you are overreacting.

Jan49 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:47:07


It seems to take several generations for people to accept changes, so people are still thinking they want a 'nice tan' despite being told this is skin damage.

As you're tanning whilst wearing SPF50 maybe you haven't reapplied it frequently enough? I burn easily. I find the easiest thing is to keep out of the sun or have clothing that covers me. I apply sun cream frequently too.

But tanned skin is damaged skin. Not as damaged as burnt skin admittedly, but still damaged:

Tans are caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning lamps, and if you have one, you’ve sustained skin cell damage (from www.skincancer.org/prevention/tanning).

Am I really BU to believe this and act accordingly?

BoundandRebound Sun 07-Jul-13 10:52:00

SPF are factors for how much longer you can stay in sun compared to without. They are not sun blocks

There is no reason to take advice and turn it into extreme deathly warnings of doom

VikingVagine Sun 07-Jul-13 10:52:15

I live in the south of France. You won't see many locals out and about between 11am and 4pm. I think that may have something to do with our comparatively low skin cancer rates.

Molotov and Jan I reapplied every hour. We usually use one of the ones that last 8 hours because it's easierwwith small children but we've run out atm so used a regular F50.

BoundandRebound Sun 07-Jul-13 10:55:34

It depends on where you are on the Fitzpatrick scale really

pobbles86 Sun 07-Jul-13 10:56:06

Burnt skin is damaged skin, tanned skin without burning is not damaged

In the this day and age, with all the public health advice, I can't believe people still think this.

BoundandRebound Sun 07-Jul-13 10:57:40

For some people eg psoriasis sufferers exposure to sun is medically beneficial

I think maybe a little less panic about it would make you more content the sky is not falling

Bound why do you think I'm panicked? Because I want to protect my and my children's skin?

specialsubject Sun 07-Jul-13 12:11:43

as I think I said to you, tanning makes leather.

you probably will change colour a bit if you are out in the sun all day, however much cream you put on.

southern and central Europeans have a siesta or get in the shade at the peak UV hours. Not as stupid as the Brits.

perplexedpirate Sun 07-Jul-13 12:36:31

A friend on Facebook has posted a 'lol' picture of her child with sunburn.
I makes me feel sick. It's a burn, an injury. It's not funny. angry

GobblersKnob Sun 07-Jul-13 12:45:16

I try to be very sensible about sun exposure, but it is very hard to not tan any skin at all, other than wearing clothes that cover all skin at all times when outside, including face and hands.

I somehow managed to tan yesterday in the shade hmm

Ds has tanned arms, he wears factor 30 everyday but is outdoors a lot.

Mrsrobertduvall Sun 07-Jul-13 12:54:41

There was a woman in the supermarket today with a strapless dress on who was bright red. not just pink but red.
Just horrible.

I am very white, always wear factor 50. I did an 8 mile walk this morning at 8 oclock. And that will be my bit in the sun till about 5pm when I may sit out.

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