As we spend more time outdoors over the summer months, we will be getting a lot more sun. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in our country, and the sun can do damage in other ways, from drying out our skin to increasing wrinkles. While we all want go outside and have a good time it is important to take the appropriate measures to protect our skin. We debunk five of the most common myths and misconceptions about tanning and sun exposure.

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    Tanning is Necessary for Vitamin D

    Rumors tend to swirl in the winter that its a good idea to use a tanning bed to keep your Vitamin D levels where they need to but achieving adequate vitamin D levels can be accomplished through proper diet and supplementation without harming the skin.

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    People with Darker Skin Don’t Need to Use Sunscreen

    Although the extra melanin in darker skin offers some protection it doesn’t block all aof the UV radiation. Darker-skinned people can still develop skin cancer and experience premature aging of the skin caused by repeated sun exposure, so it is important to wear sunscreen no matter what your shade of skin.

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    Sun or Tanning Bed Exposure is the Only Way To Have a Healthy Glow

    Some people feel as though they look better with a tan but your skin does not need to be put at risk in order to achieve those results. Nowadays there are several effective, natural-appearing sunless tanners and bronzers that don't involve damage of your skin cells.

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    As Long as You Don't Burn, Tanning is Safe

    Any tan whatsoever can set you up for future skin problems. Acute sunburns are painful and may increase the risk of melanoma but tanning can cause premature aging of the skin caused by repeated sun exposure and predispose you to skin cancer

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    Most Skin Cancers are No Big Deal

    Skin cancer is an epidemic as there are more skin cancers diagnosed in one year in the United States than all other cancers combined over a three year period.  If you notice any changes to spots or mole on your skin, see a specialist immediately.