Share

Myths and Facts of Sunbathing

MYTH 

Being in Irish weather does not increase your risk of skin cancer

FALSE

All UV damage is the same whether you are in Ireland, Spain or anywhere else.  It damages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer.  As much as 90% of UV can pass through light clouds so even on cloudy Irish days we all need to be SunSmart.  Start checking the UV Index today to find out what you need to do to protect your skin from UV damage. 

MYTH 

I’m healthier with a tan

FALSE

There is no such thing as a healthy tan from the sun or sunbeds.  Tanned skin is skin that is already damaged by UV.  Your tanned skin is trying to protect itself from further UV damage.

MYTH 

Being tanned protects me against the sun

FALSE

A tan does not provide protection from the sun                        

MYTH 

Using a sunbed is a good way to get a tan before going on holidays

FALSE

Definitely false.  Never use a sunbed before holidays to get a tan or to prepare your skin before going on holiday’s because:

  • If you ever use a sunbed research tells us that you increase your risk of melanoma skin cancer, the most serious form of skin cancer, by 15%
  • If you use a sunbed before the age of 35 years your risk is increased by 75%

MYTH 

I use sunscreen to protect my skin: that’s all I need to do

FALSE

No sunscreen protects your skin completely from UV.  To protect your skin as much as possible it is important to use a number of parts of the SunSmart Code including covering up, seeking shade and wearing sunglasses that give UV protection.

MYTH   

I cannot get sunburnt while swimming

FALSE

Reflections from the water increases the effect of the UV radiation significantly. Being under water provides only minimal sun protection.

 

MYTH 

I need lots of sun to get Vitamin D

FALSE

Vitamin D is important for bone health, immune function and blood cell formation.  It comes from two sources: UV rays from the sun and your diet.

To help meet your vitamin D needs the Irish Cancer Society follows the World Health Organisation INTERSUN recommendations of getting 5 to 15 minutes of casual sun exposure to hands, face and arms two to three times a week during the summer months. 

MYTH 

Skin cancer is only a problem for older people

FALSE

Skin cancer is more common in older people but don’t be fooled, skin cancer is the most common cancer in 15 to 44 year olds in Ireland. 

We all need to be SunSmart and reduce our risk of skin cancer.  The damage starts the minute you are exposed to UV, whether you get a tan or sunburnt, and builds up over your lifetime.  For this reason everyone who spends time outdoors needs to reduce their risk of skin cancer by following the SunSmart Code.

MYTH 

I am using fake tan so my skin is protected from UV

FALSE:

Using fake tan does not protect your skin from UV damage. Fake tans do not protect from UVA damage but some contain SPF.  However, SPF needs to be reapplied every two hours to protect your skin from UV damage.  So, even if you use fake tan you need to follow the SunSmart code when outdoors. Some evidence is emerging that using spray on fake tans may cause health problems but more evidence is needed on this.

 

Secondary navigation