Chief medical officer of health advises against tanning
FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswickers are being urged by New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health to learn about the dangers of tanning.
"There is no such thing as a healthy tan," said Dr. Eilish Cleary. "Tanning causes premature aging and increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Because of higher radiation levels, tanning beds carry a substantially higher risk than the sun."
New Brunswickers are advised to take precautions to prevent sun damage:
● reduce sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and when the UV index is higher than 3;
● cover up with loose fitting clothing and seek shade;
● wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses;
● use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and reapply according to the instructions; and
● avoid indoor tanning completely. Base tans are not effective at preventing damage from the sun's rays.
New Brunswickers are also advised to check their skin regularly and consult a physician about any changes including birthmarks or moles that change shape, colour, size or surface; a sore that does not heal; any patch of skin that bleeds, oozes, swells or itches; and other growths.
"Sun damage adds up over time," said Cleary. "The skin can repair superficial damage such as the redness and soreness of a sunburn but the underlying damage remains. It may take 10 to 30 years for cancer to develop from repeated exposure. The younger you are, the greater your risk."