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The Ugly Truth of Tan Lines

Updated on December 27, 2014

The Reality

Do you use a 30+ SPF when you are out in the sun?

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Looking for the Danger Signs for the Sun

The Summer Tanline

Suntan season for most people living in the USA, is primarily a summertime event. However, the lasting effects of sun damage can have resounding effects that go on long after the swimming pools close down for the fall and winter months. With that said, I think any reasonable person should question their motives, before laying out in the sun without sunscreen protection. Is the short-term relief that some people feel from their dreary, worn out lives really worth the elevated risks that come from too much sun? Well with skin cancer at an all time high these days, it would appear so. Which makes me wonder, what is it that has us all convinced that it is worth putting our lives on the line, to appear more beautiful? Is beauty really only skin deep these days? Ask yourself, why do you go out in the sun without any protection on. You wouldn't stick your hand into a hot oven and grab the oven rack without the protection of an oven mitt of some sort, now would you? No, you wouldn't. But you will bake your body under a hot blazing day. I don't think people realize that they are doing the very same thing. Only difference is, when they use an oven mitt, they're using their brain. Bottomline here people- beauty isn't worth dying over. It isn't worth the pain and suffering. There isn't a dreary day in the world, worth such great risk . Sorry, but, there's not. The cumulative effects of sun exposure put us at higher risk of cellular damage, early wrinkling, age spots, actinic keratoses, and skin cancer. These skin conditions are no laughing matter. They cost Americans billions of dollars each year in escalating health care costs and insurance premiums. I foresee a future, where you will be forced to check a box on an insurance form, asking you if you tan your skin or not. The cost to take care of a person with Melanoma skin cancer is in the millions, and that is just for one person. Just like it is with smoking cigarettes, sunbathing and basking in tanning beds is a choice a person make. The number one way to develop terminal skin cancer, is by sunbathing without protection. So you tell me, do you think medical insurance companies are going to continue to cover stupidity? No, they won't. Furthermore, if you are a sunbather, do you regularly check your skin for spots or moles that arise from the effects of excessive sun exposure? If you do, that's wonderful. Because then you realize that these self checks, are your first line of defense, to catching skin cancer early on.

By spotting a new mole or sunspot on your skin early on, you are already one step ahead of the game, and the medical care for your survival, will most likely have a good, positive and life-long, lasting prognosis. However, all too often young women and men don't check for these early warning signs, and once a cancerous moles start spreading on your skin, it's too late by then for you to get the help you need to live. That is how fast and serious the effects of too much sun can have on your skin. It could cost you your life.

You're a Scab

Did you know?

  • Did you know that sun-kissed skin, is nothing more than one gigantic scab? Yep, that's right- a scab. So why is tanned skin so revered as beautiful? I don't think anyone really knows the answer to that question. But what we do know is that the tanning industry is a multi-billion dollar industry world wide.

  • Something else you should know is that too much sun can have damaging effects on your body. Over exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, actually accelerates the effects of aging, and also increases your risk for developing skin cancer. To prevent your skin from becoming sun damaged, use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. If you have fair skin or burn easily, use a SPF to 30 or higher. This one simple step, is not only cost effective, but with the new spray on applicators, it's probably the easiest step you can make these days, when keeping your skin looking vibrant and youthful.


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  • gurgel1 profile image

    gurgel1 8 years ago from profile


  • RKHenry profile image

    RKHenry 8 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Hey thanks.  Yeah I thought about emailing you to ask a favor to check this hub out and tell me truthfully what was wrong with it. I was just curious as to why the hub score was so low.  So thanks for commenting on it.  When I woke up this morning I noticed the it had sunk to a 39.  That made me realize that I indeed needed to extend it out further.  So you like the additions?  Good.  I appreciate your feedback greatly.  Thanks Iphigenia.  By the way, I like your tan line.  RK

  • profile image

    Iphigenia 8 years ago

    Popped back to see the discussion and I like the additions that you've made - including the 30 SPF factor Amazon products.

  • profile image

    Iphigenia 8 years ago

    I think that your description of a tan as a scab is the best I've heard.  I was young and tanned easily in the days before we were fully aware of the dangers - also, tans were not sych a fashion item then, they happened or they didn't. I now have a 25 year old daughter who is very fair skinned - but for years he wanted to have a tan.  She (thankfully) now values her beautiful celtic skin and is happy to have a little natural blush from te sun - no more.

    We live in a sun-tan-mad area. In St Tropez to be tanned is de rigeur - and I see so much damage being done.

    I have a mark on my face which is sun damage - I didn't know about it until I started seriosuly protecting myself about 20 years ago (I haven't had a tan for over Over 20 years now even though I snorkel, swim and hike regulalry in the sunshine). Anyway, once I let my tan fade back to normal all those yaers ago I saw the patch of discolouration on my face. The structure underneath are slighty damaged but my doctor said it can be repaierd and the matk removed. THis is only cosmetic - and the mark is not a melanoma - so I keep it as a warning !

    And all those people in your great selection of photos just look ridiculous and damaged.

    I'm no fan of tan as you can see - this hub is full of great advice but maybe your amazon capsules should be full of protective measures - there's a  Zero SPF facture oil there .........

  • shamelabboush profile image

    shamelabboush 8 years ago

    Very nice pictures RKHenry! And, yo uare right that exposure might be dangerous...

  • IntimatEvolution profile image

    Julie Grimes 8 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

    Another great hub topic RKHenry.