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Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?

Yes, we all know the health risks of indoor tanning, outdoor tanning, any unprotected exposure to sunlight whatsoever, etc. However, I was talking with a friend who was given a tanning package as a gift & wants to use it to get a base tan before going to Florida in a month, in the hopes that she won't burn while she's down there.

My $0.02/question: A slight base tan can't be any worse for you than a hellacious sunburn, can it?

All the medical-based info I've read about this suggests, again, that any unprotected sun exposure will eventually kill you. (I'm being slightly hyperbolic, but it all takes a rather panicky tone.)

Any thoughts?

(FWIW: My dad's doctor found some precancerous cells on his forehead & hands last year, and my aunt has had numerous melanomas removed -- both had years of frequent prolonged sun exposure without sunscreen. My sister's dermatologist prescribed indoor tanning in strict moderation as a treatment for really stubborn psoriasis, which is sort of unbelievable coming from a doctor you'd think has seen tons of skin cancer, but it seems to have worked.)
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Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?

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    SwazzleSwazzle member
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    I pretty much always go tanning 23 time over the course of a month before I go on vacation. I know tanning is bad for you but I choose to do this anyways. There are a couple ladies that go tanning for medical reasons. I wasn't prescribed it by a doctor but it definitely helps my acne and eczema.



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    I went base tanning before I went to Mexico. Granted I still burned, but I have to burn before I will actually start tanning. I don't go to tanning beds because well, I don't have the money for it.

    Tanning can be good for you in moderation, like a lot of things. Like Rrd said some doctors will prescribe it for people who have really bad dry skin or problems like that because your body is lacking that vitamin.

    I tan the old fashioned way now, good ole hiking and spending my time outdoors.
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    melizabethpmelizabethp member
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    edited May 2012
    Exactly. I don't want to downplay the risks of tanning, but at the same time, I can't help but feel like it could have some benefits. Call it playing devil's advocate. Or call it just having seen the benefits firsthand.

    I wonder, too, if it's ever been prescribed for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    ETA: I still think real sunlight trumps indoor tanning any day of the week, but again, devil's advocate.
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    I am no doctor, but I can tell you that there are people out there that would rather you cover up with the highest SPF anytime you even pass near a window. I however, from personal experience, feel that getting a little tan isn't going to kill me. I feel that, in moderation, tanning is fine (no medical back up, just how I feel). However, it seems like skin cancer runs in your family, so I might be a little more hesitant, but really, as long as you're not tanning EVERY day for hours (or however long they let you) and building up a nice Jersey tan (i.e. tanning to the extreme!) I think your risks will be low.

    Like Rdr, I too will tan frequently before I go on vacation, and I tan about 2 times a week as it is right now, getting ready just for summer, for about 10 minutes a session. I certainly am NOT tan, but I have a healthy glow. I know people disagree with indoor tanning, but this is one of those choices where, it is up to you, and imho I don't think tanning in moderation is the end of the world.
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    I'm going on vacation in a month too (to Texas) and I can't decide if I should get a base tan before going on just make sure to use lots of sun-block while I'm down there. I've never done indoor tanning, not because I'm really opposed to though I've just never felt the need to. I don't want to burn on my vacation but I don't really want to do the whole indoor tanning thing either.


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    Awesome Beth! You're going to come to me for vacation! Yay! I am a super fun place to visit! (J/K!)

    Beth, let me tell you, you're gonna want to get a base tan AND wear sunblock if your skin is anything like mine (fair). Our sun is brutal (like our Texas sun is any worse, but its so gosh darn hot, I think it is LOL) and you'll be wanting all the protection you can get. So where are you going for vacation? I've been to almost everywhere fun in Texas (even to Paris Texas to see their mini Effiel Tower!) but I'm always looking for more places to visit!
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    leia1979leia1979 member
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    edited May 2012
    I am not a doctor and have no facts to back up my opinion, but as a person who enjoys sunshine, I believe tanning in moderation is better than a burn. However, I don't believe in a base tan, either. I think if you're out too long with inadequate sunscreen, you will burn whether you have previously tanned or not.

    If someone wants to get a little color before heading out to the beach, that's their choice, but they should also make sure to use plenty of sunscreen outside.

    ETA: I'm not one of those sunscreen every day kind of people, but if I know I'm going to be outside for awhile, I'll put on sunscreen. I have had a couple of nasty burns in my life, and I try not to repeat it. With the advent of spray-on sunscreen, it's much harder to excuse myself for slacking.
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    Oh, I won't go tanning indoors, although I'm probably not as careful about outdoor sun as I should be, especially given my family history. I don't usually put on sunscreen (any more than a daily moisturizer) unless I know I'm going to be outside in direct sunlight for a good while. I know, I'm bad, but I just don't spend much time outside on a typical day. (And we're not exactly known for sunshine here in the boondocks of western Illinois.)

    I guess I was just proposing this for discussion's sake. We always get one very consistent message about sun exposure. I was curious about others' thoughts, especially in light of what my friend was saying.

    An interesting sidebar: I read somewhere last year that these ultra-high SPF sunscreens (100+) aren't actually any more effective than 50 or even frequently reapplied 30. Has anyone else heard that?
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    beth, I second Texas -- where in the Lone Star State are you going? It's such an interesting state. (I mean that in the best way!)
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    leia1979leia1979 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited May 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_base-tan-vs-sunburn-your-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:2941db80-bde7-4ea2-9270-0298d23ebe5ePost:0f6693c2-7a9a-498a-987e-4182e9d9d185">Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Oh, I won't go tanning indoors, although I'm probably not as careful about outdoor sun as I should be, especially given my family history. I don't usually put on sunscreen (any more than a daily moisturizer) unless I know I'm going to be outside in direct sunlight for a good while. I know, I'm bad, but I just don't spend much time outside on a typical day. (And we're not exactly known for sunshine here in the boondocks of western Illinois.) I guess I was just proposing this for discussion's sake. We always get one very consistent message about sun exposure. I was curious about others' thoughts, especially in light of what my friend was saying. <strong>An interesting sidebar: I read somewhere last year that these ultra-high SPF sunscreens (100+) aren't actually any more effective than 50 or even frequently reapplied 30. Has anyone else heard that?</strong>
    Posted by melizabethp[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I've heard this. I have a friend who is very pale and a doctor, and while we joke about SPF 100 with her (long before it existed), she generally uses 50.

    ETA: Here's a nice WebMD article on the subject <a href="http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/features/high-spf-sunscreens-are-they-better" rel="nofollow">http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/features/high-spf-sunscreens-are-they-better</a>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_base-tan-vs-sunburn-your-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:2941db80-bde7-4ea2-9270-0298d23ebe5ePost:e6b92495-b841-44f3-a2ee-1f543e3d2b97">Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]beth, I second Texas -- where in the Lone Star State are you going? It's such an interesting state. (<strong>I mean that in the best way!)</strong>
    Posted by melizabethp[/QUOTE]

    Lol! I love how you added this part! But really, it is! I live in Central Texas and Eastern and Western Texas feel so absolutely different. The Panhandle and the coast too! I'm sure other states are like this too, but I am especially fond of Texas. (I bet no one here could have guessed that! Haha!)
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_base-tan-vs-sunburn-your-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:2941db80-bde7-4ea2-9270-0298d23ebe5ePost:ea3c0db2-214b-4f17-8514-21fdd185ebb4">Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts? : Yes, I've heard this. I have a friend who is very pale and a doctor, and while we joke about SPF 100 with her (long before it existed), she generally uses 50. ETA: Here's a nice WebMD article on the subject <a href="http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/features/high-spf-sunscreens-are-they-better" rel="nofollow">http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/features/high-spf-sunscreens-are-they-better</a>
    Posted by leia1979[/QUOTE]

    <div>Ooooo, thanks for the link. Very interesting reading. It's eye-opening to learn how SPF actually works!</div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_base-tan-vs-sunburn-your-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:2941db80-bde7-4ea2-9270-0298d23ebe5ePost:28966e21-3519-43e9-88a3-0de5c2db9a00">Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts? : Lol! I love how you added this part! But really, it is! I live in Central Texas and Eastern and Western Texas feel so absolutely different. The Panhandle and the coast too! I'm sure other states are like this too, but I am especially fond of Texas. (I bet no one here could have guessed that! Haha!)
    Posted by LilTexasGal[/QUOTE]

    <div>Yes, I've definitely noticed that Texans are quite loyal. :D</div><div>
    </div><div>I went to DFW in college to visit my then-boyfriend over Christmas break, and three years ago I went to Houston/Galveston & San Antonio to visit my college roommates. The whole state sort of feels like a different country, but I was amazed at how different all three areas were. I think I liked San Antonio best, just because it did have such a unique culture (and is SO beautiful). The roommate who lived there moved to Austin not long ago, and I can't tell you how excited I am to visit there!</div>
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    I think I am more sensitive to the sun than most people, but I would say cover up as much as possible.  I am a religious sunscreen user and I've had 4 moles biopsied since age 12.  I don't want to be preachy, but I don't think you can be too safe.
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    I am someone who is completely against tanning, so I'm not the one to ask. I think that white skin, brown skin, tan skin... whatever is beautiful. I don't see why you'd do something when you KNOW it's dangerous. I'm a big huge sunblock user. And I still get burned because my skin is so light. 
    Used to be bourgehm. +1,500 posts. Silly knot
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    Texas - I don't have particularly fair skin (BF does...I'm a little worried about him on this trip but he did okay in Florida) and I usually tan more than I burn. I'm thinking I might just try to get out in the sun more before we go. Lots of hiking and camping should accomplish getting me at least a little tan.

    I'm not 100% sure where we are going (my mom planned the whole trip) but it's somewhere on the coast.


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    RWS2011RWS2011 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
    I am pasty white and not ashamed to admit it, or afraid to blind children and the elderly on sunlit, sandy beaches when I walk past!  

    Seriously though, I tanned once.  It was when I lived in Italy for 3 months and was outside walking around, or on the beach 30%-50% of every day.  I still applied sunscreen, but eventually I got a bit brown.  Apart from that I burn very easily, so I try to protect myself as much as possible from the sun.  Also, my mom had skin cancer young, so... another deterrent.  
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    I've never been to a tanning salon before, and I really don't think I ever will.  I don't see the point.  My parents do before they go to Mexico, and occassionally throughout the winter.  I'm just not interested after reading all of the risks.  I use lots of sunscreen and try to avoid getting too much sun when I can.  

    When we go on really long hikes we bring a lot of sunscreen with us since BF is so fair, but he usually just freckles so much it turns into a tan.
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    No.

    No, no, no.

    Just... no.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_base-tan-vs-sunburn-your-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:2941db80-bde7-4ea2-9270-0298d23ebe5ePost:c16f5212-73ef-403c-a1f3-32db0e461c2f">Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts? : Yes, I've definitely noticed that Texans are quite loyal. :D I went to DFW in college to visit my then-boyfriend over Christmas break, and three years ago I went to Houston/Galveston & San Antonio to visit my college roommates. The whole state sort of feels like a different country, but I was amazed at how different all three areas were. I think I liked San Antonio best, just because it did have such a unique culture (and is SO beautiful). The roommate who lived there moved to Austin not long ago, and I can't tell you how excited I am to visit there!
    Posted by melizabethp[/QUOTE]

    Technically I am in the "Austin Area" between Austin and Waco, but I go to Austin a lot. There is a TON of fun stuff to do there. I hope you enjoy your visit when you go.


    Beth - Oh, I love the coast! Matagorda Bay, Galviston, Port Aransas, Corpis Cristi, South Padre... ahh those place are fun (Matagorda and Galviston are where I like to go fishing!) but they are all great places to go, and are the popular tourist places. I probably like Port A more than South Padre (kind of more family vs. party imo) but I live closer to Port A, so maybe that is why I like it?

    IF YOU DO GO TO PORT ARANSAS:
    Let me know! I can tell you exactly where to go to get the best mani/pedi, or where to get the best mexican food AND the margarita, etc.  If you're in Corpis, I can direct you to some pretty amazing sushi too.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_base-tan-vs-sunburn-your-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:2941db80-bde7-4ea2-9270-0298d23ebe5ePost:cbc694eb-275a-4217-bd04-2a1931c22188">Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE] IF YOU DO GO TO PORT ARANSAS: Let me know! I can tell you exactly where to go to get the best mani/pedi, or where to get the best mexican food AND the margarita, etc.  If you're in Corpis, I can direct you to some pretty amazing sushi too.
    Posted by LilTexasGal[/QUOTE]

    I don't like margaritas (not a fan of tequila) but I LOVE sushi so if that is where we are going I'll ask for some pointers from you for sure :)


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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_base-tan-vs-sunburn-your-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:2941db80-bde7-4ea2-9270-0298d23ebe5ePost:e572d522-0531-4ea1-86db-ed33f138a6d4">Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Base tan vs. sunburn? Your thoughts? : I don't like margaritas (not a fan of tequila) but I LOVE sushi so if that is where we are going I'll ask for some pointers from you for sure :)
    Posted by bethsmiles[/QUOTE]

    Haha! Then I will be more than willing to give advice! If you like guac I know where to get some yummy guac too! LOL.
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    It is possible to go to a tropical destination without getting a sunburn even if you don't get a base tan. I'm one of those people who burns super easy. I spent a week in Florida over Christmas and made sure to always wear a high SPF sunblock and a hat, and I made sure to re-apply my sunblock often. We were outside almost all day, every day, it was sunny the entire time we were there and I never got a burn. If you're careful it's possible.
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