Worried about too much exposure to the sun during a suntan? Wondering what kind of sun tan lotion is the most effective?

We asked the Federal Trade Commission to shed some light on sun exposure for us.

We Know: How to Stay Safe in the Sun

1. What part of sunlight is dangerous?

Over exposure to the sunís invisible ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB) can cause sunburn, rashes, cell and tissue damage, wrinkling and cancer.

2. Is tanning a sign of skin damage?

Yes. Tanning is when your skin produces extra coloring to protect itself against sunburn from ultraviolet rays.

3. Do indoor tanning devices produce ultraviolet rays.

Yes. Indoor tanning can be harmful to your skin, just as outdoor tanning can be.

4. Does sunscreen help?

Yes, but sunscreen can not protect from all of the sunís harmful rays.

5. What should I know about sunscreens?

Sunscreens with a label of 15 SPF (Sun Protection Factor) or higher are helpful to most people. If you buy a 15 SPF sunscreen, it means you should be able to stay in the sun 15 times longer without burning than you would with no sunscreen. So, if you burn in 10 minutes, the sunscreen should protect your for about 150 minutes.

6. What about sunscreens with higher SPFs?

Higher SPF sunscreens may be helpful to people who have fair skin, live at high altitudes, work outdoors or perspire heavily. Water from swimming or sweating reduces the sunscreenís effectiveness, so you have to use more.

7. Do some medications make me more vulnerable to sunlight?


Some kinds of antibiotics, birth control pills, diuretics, antihistamines, and antidepressants are among the commonly used drugs that can increase sensitivity to the sun's rays.

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