Winter Freezes Everything But The Sun ☀️

When the cold weather hits, everyone bundles up when they head outdoors. It can be really easy to forget that even though it may be -40 degrees, the Sun is still up there, blazing bright and true. Although a bit of natural sunlight can be beneficial to help your body generate the dose of Vitamin D it requires (see yesterday’s repost from June 2019), too much exposure to sunlight can be bad for you. I am referring to, of course, tanning.

Getting a tan is a practice through which the skin on a person becomes a darker shade due to exposure to UV Light. The body responds by producing melanin in order to prevent further damage from UV radiation. In the past, getting a tan was evidence of social status, having travelled to sunny destination or good health. But nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that the result is your body TRYING TO PROTECT ITSELF is a sign that tanning is bad, m’kay?

There are different ways to get a tan. The first and most direct, is natural sunlight. This basically involves exposing your flesh to the Sun. Pretty simple, right? The next is through the use of a tanning bed. This involves laying or standing in a specially constructed booth that exposes you to UVA rays, causing the production of melanin and darkening the skin. The last is a spray tan. Spray tanning is done by well, spraying yourself. A chemical called Dihydroxyacetone is misted against the skin, which in turn reacts with the body’s naturally occurring amino acids to turn the skin a darker shade.

Although this is a topic that has been widely debated in recent decades, and public opinion has gone back and forth, tanning is not good for you. The DHA mist used in spray tanning has no evidence of being harmful to the body. Okay, fair enough! But any form of tanning that causes the creation of melanin has been proven to be exceptionally bad for you. And it all begins with that very first tan…

If you tan your skin, you will cause a number of complications that you definitely want to live without. According to an article posted by WebMD, tanning is known to be a cause of Melanoma, which is a cancer of the skin cells. Tanning will also cause the premature aging of your skin, or what doctors refer to as “photo aging”. Other sources suggest that damage is caused with the very first tan and that being tanned does NOT prevent potential sunburns. Getting a “base tan” does nothing to help you.

Here are some good articles that cover these points in greater detail, should you want to have a read:

The point I’m making today, is that people tend to associate sun burns and sun exposure with the summer months because most people spend more time outdoors. But the Sun’s rays shine on, regardless of the season. The Sun’s rays will reflect off snow and ice and exposed skin can still suffer the same effects. So while you’re out and about in your winter wonderland, or if you’re crazy enough to be running during the snowy months like I’ve been, make sure to cover up and protect yourself accordingly.

For people with Diabetes, tanning exposes you an increased risk of dehydration and hypoglycaemia. You’ll also be at greater risk of excessive sweating, dizziness, headaches, nausea, increased heart rate and cramped muscles. Last but not least, I’d like to point out that tanning is actually defined as treating an animal hide in order to make leather! That should tell you all you need to know about what it’s doing to your skin. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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