What you need to know about sunburns and tanning

AP, Sunday 13 May 2012

Roughly half of young adults under 30 say they've had a sunburn in the past year. Is it a big deal?

Sunburns raise the risk for skin cancer, including melanoma: a rare but often lethal cancer.

Experts say that even one blistering burn can double the risk of developing melanoma.

Think tanning beds are safer?

You'd be wrong. The World Health Organisation classifies tanning devices as carcinogens, meaning their use can lead to cancer.

Think you need to be bronze to look good?

Well, the pale look hasn't been a problem for celebs like Kristen Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow or Taylor Swift.

What about people with dark skin? Should they worry about the sun?

Melanoma risk for blacks and other dark-skinned people is much lower, but even they can develop it.

What's the advice?

To be safe, avoid direct sun between 10am and 4pm or cover yourself. When you must be in the sun, apply sunscreen often.

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