No such thing as a healthy tan, say experts
By Laura Donnelly
THERE is no such thing as a safe tan, according to new NHS advice that urges the public to apply eight teaspoons of sunscreen whenever the sun comes out. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said anyone out in strong sunlight for more than a short time should protect exposed skin using cream with an SPF of 15 or more. Health watchdogs said people needed to get some sunshine in order to build up vitamin D levels – warning that almost one in four of us is deficient. Officials said short bursts of sunshine – with lotion applied whenever there is a chance of skin reddening – were the safest way to build bone strength while protecting against skin cancer. The new guidance says the public needs to “balance” the risks and benefits of sun exposure. “There is no safe or healthy way to get a tan from sunlight,” the watchdog said. It urges people to refrain from complementing a “healthy tan” or talking about the benefits of “escaping to the sun”. The guidance follows a study which shows a 40 per cent rise in NHS hospital admissions for skin cancer, which is now the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK. The guidance suggests people need to go further to protect themselves by applying sunscreen “liberally” – using up to eight teaspoons at a time.