3 Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Tanning and Sun Protection
As a parent, you care deeply about the health of your child. Even as they grow into teenagers, you can’t help but want the best for them. And believe it or not, talking to your teen about tanning and sun protection is an important discussion that you need to have with your teenager.
Teens often covet the glow you get from having beautifully bronzed skin; however, getting that tan skin can come at a serious cost if they are not careful. It is important for you to tell your teenager about the risks involved with improper sun protection, and here are 3 tips that allow you to do just that.
1. Inform your teen on proper sun protection. First and foremost, you need to emphasize the importance of wearing sunscreen. Your teenager needs to understand that every time they plan on being in the sun, they should wear sunscreen. It should simply become a habit, making sure they cover any exposed skin – including their hands.
2. Tell them about the risks involved with not wearing sunscreen. Prolonged exposure to the sun can have many negative effects on the skin. Some of these effects include premature aging, discoloration of the skin, moles, and most serious of all skin cancer. Getting a great tan isn’t worth potentially risking your life. Once your teenagers understand that, they’ll be much more likely to oblige.
3. Make sure they understand that a tan from a tanning bed is just as damaging as a tan from the sun. A tanning bed uses the same types of UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays, which means they can burn and damage your skin exactly the same as sitting in the sun. As a matter of fact, tanning beds can actually give you 3x more UVA exposure than the sun – making it even more dangerous.
Teens can be stubborn, so you want to arm them with all the facts. It’s important to limit their sun exposure and, when they do go outside, to make sure they use sun protection. By doing so, they aren’t just helping to protect themselves from sunburns, but are ultimately fighting against premature aging and other potentially serious side effects of too much sun.
To learn more about the importance of proper sun protection for your teens and yourself, please contact us.
About the Author:
Dr. Adam Mamelak is a board certified dermatologist in both the United States and Canada. He is a skin cancer specialist and completed a fellowship in Mohs and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Mamelak sees patients at Sanova Dermatology and the Austin Mohs Surgery Center.