Base tans. Sunscreen. Tanning beds. Sunblock.
How do you stay safe in the hot Texas sun? We spoke with Ashley Chappell PA-C, from Texoma Dermatology Clinic in Paris, Texas, who gave insight about having fun in the summer without causing damage to your skin or putting you at a higher risk for skin cancer.
“There’s no such thing as a safe tan. Any change in color of your skin is a sign of sun damage,” said Chappell. “With that being said, you can still get a tan while wearing sunscreen. A tan is your body’s way of protecting itself from further sun damage.”
Chappell addressed the fact that many people believe the myth that a base tan helps you stay safe, but clarified the sun will still damage your skin even with a base tan. Sun exposure is inevitable as you walk from point A to B, from the side window of your car and even when it’s cloudy outside. This type of sun often increases your risk of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas which are the two most common types of cancer.
It’s best to remember to always wear sunscreen, avoid the sun when possible and take advantage of a shade tree when you’re near one.
“If you can hold a shirt up to the sun and you can see through it, then the sun can get through to your skin,” said Chappell. “Another fun fact is that a dry T-shirt provides more protection than a wet one, and a plain white T-shirt only provides a small amount of protection from the sun.”
Chappell also says there are now shirts available that have SPF (sun protection factor) built into them; Click here to view a few on Amazon.