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Sorry Sun Worshippers, NICE says No Safe Way to Suntan

09/02/2016

Sorry Sun Worshippers, NICE says No Safe Way to SuntanIt’s one of the telltale signs that someone’s recently been on holiday, but according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK, there is no safe or healthy way to get a suntan from sunlight.

NICE also said that having an existing tan provides little protection against harmful UV rays and advises adults to use at least 6-8 teaspoons of factor 15 sun cream per application.

Many adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D and NICE says that these can be build up through exposure to sunlight. However, the benefits of increased levels of vitamin D need to be weighed up against the risks associated with skin cancer.

The NICE guidelines specifically state that babies and children; people with fair skin or hair; people with lots of moles or freckles; and people with a family history of skin cancer should take extra care in the sun.

Professor Gillian Leng, director of health and social care at NICE, said: "How much time we should spend in the sun depends on a number of factors including geographical location, time of day and year, weather conditions and natural skin colour.

"People with lighter skin, people who work outside and those of us who enjoy holidays in sunny countries all have a higher risk of experiencing skin damage and developing skin cancer.

"On the other hand, people who cover up for cultural reasons, are housebound or otherwise confined indoors for long periods of time are all at higher risk of low vitamin D levels."

The full NICE guidelines can be found on the organisation’s website here.

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