Skin Tan

Exposure to sunlight causes an increase in melanin (skin pigment). This is the body's natural technique of preventing sun damage to the skin. Tanning occurs when your outer layer of skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds, which causes genetic damage to the cells.

The skin produces melanin (the pigment that gives our skin its color) to protect itself from additional harm, resulting in a darkening - what we call a tan.

Everything you should know about Skin Tan

Sun tanning, or simply tanning, is the process of darkening or tanning one's skin tone. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or artificial sources, such as a tanning lamp used in indoor tanning beds, is the most common cause.

Overexposure to UV radiation causes this response, which is quite natural. Excessive UV exposure triggers an inflammatory cascade in the skin, resulting in a sunburn. Sunburn cells are skin cells that perish as a result of exposure to the sun.

Excessive exposure to UV radiation has severe health impacts, including sunburn and an increased risk of skin cancer, as well as reduced immune system performance and skin aging. In addition, some people are more prone to tanning or sunburning than others. This might be due to heredity, as well as differences in skin types and natural skin color.

Knowing the difference between the two forms of tanning that occur after UV exposure is crucial because one produces melanin (to provide a small amount of extra sun protection), and the other does not. Melanin is a skin pigment that comes in the form of little granules that develop and stay in your skin to give you a tan hue. Melanocytes, which are specialized skin cells, produce it. Melanin granules spread out in the top layer of your live skin, where UV rays have been absorbed. Even a thick coating of pigment granules in your skin from tanning only provides a little amount of additional sun protection, and it takes time for your skin to produce that protection.

Immediate Pigment Darkening and Delayed Pigment Darkening are the two types of tanning responses to UV radiation.

  • Immediate Pigment Darkening

This is instant tanning, which occurs when your skin redistributes the previously present pigment. There are no new melanin granules produced. It occurs shortly after UVB and UVA radiation (UVA is used in tanning beds) exposure. The tan develops quickly and reaches its peak after only a few hours.

This form of UV exposure causes your skin to become rough and lackluster. That's because it causes the thickness of your skin's dead skin cell layer (stratum corneum) to rise, resulting in rough skin texture. 

Its development is linked to the melanocytic system. Structure alterations in melanocytes and keratinocytes and a chemical alteration of pre-existing melanin are all involved. The severity of the darkening is at its peak just after exposure and swiftly fades.

  • Delayed Pigment Darkening

This type of delayed tanning takes a long time to develop and is only caused by UVB light exposure. You can't acquire it via tanning beds' UVA. Because UVB is the same solar radiation that causes sunburn, tanning is a step in the process that leads to sunburn. It starts 2 to 3 days after exposure and peaks 10 to 14 days afterward.

The tan is caused by your skin producing more melanin pigment granules and distributing them throughout the living layer of your skin. This implies that while it provides some UV protection, it also causes DNA damage. Because melanin granules rise up and out of your skin when your cells shed, tans are only transient. This form of exposure, like the instant tan, generates an increase in your skin's dead skin cell layer.

Your skin will darken due to melanin pigmentation if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Some individuals like getting a tan when out and about, while others attempt to avoid it as much as possible. To help prevent yourself from tanning and overexposure to UV radiation, take extra precautions.

  • Regardless of the weather, use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day 

Even if it's chilly, wet, or overcast outdoors, the sun's rays may harm your skin. Moreover, even if you don't intend on being outside for lengthy periods, your skin will benefit from using sunscreen regularly. Always, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it to your face and any other exposed regions of your body not covered by clothing.

  • When the sun is at its brightest, stay inside

The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are when the sun's beams are at their most powerful. If you're going to go outside, do so early in the morning or late in the evening to prevent obtaining a tan. Observe the length of your shadow; if it is shorter than you, the sun is shining brightly. If it's longer than you are, the rays aren't as harmful.

  • When you're outside, wear a big floppy hat and UV sunglasses

These sun-protecting items will shield your eyes, cheeks, and even shoulders from harmful UV rays. However, even if you don't notice the effects right away, a burn or tan can happen within 15 minutes of being outside, so take care even if you're only going for a short stroll or spending some time outside. Also, don't forget to put on your sunglasses when driving. The sun's reflection off of asphalt or concrete can cause eye burn.

  • Put on some protection gear

When used in conjunction with the other procedures, protective clothing can be one of the most efficient strategies to avoid overexposure to UV radiation when participating in outdoor activities. Bright or dark-colored materials with substantially greater Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) than light-colored clothes are good for sun protection.

  • When possible, seek shade

Though shade does not block all UV radiation, it can assist give respite from the heat and protection from the glare of reflected UV rays when used in conjunction with the other procedures indicated. To prevent as much UV exposure as possible during peak sunshine hours, seek out areas of natural shade or make your shade with an umbrella or tarp when partaking in outdoor activities.

There is no such thing as a safe level of tanning. You may think tanning isn't hazardous for you but it might cause skin cancer and there is a danger of burning. Moreover, tanning is unhealthy for you since it takes hazardous ultraviolet (UV) rays piercing your skin and messing with your DNA for your body to start tanning.

UV-A and UV-B are the two types of UV radiation that dermatologists classify as hazardous. Both produce DNA damage that can lead to skin cancer, but UV-A, in particular, can contribute to a second issue: it tears down the skin's natural collagen, causing accelerated aging.

The complication of suntan/impact on skin health

Sunburn from prolonged, intense sun exposure raises your risk of further skin damage and some illnesses. Premature skin aging (photoaging), sunburn, damage to the eyes, suntan, and skin cancer are all examples.

  • Premature skin aging 

Sun exposure and frequent sunburns hasten the skin's aging process, making you appear older than you are. Photoaging is the term for skin changes produced by UV exposure. The weakening of connective tissues, which diminishes the skin's firmness and suppleness, is one of the effects of photoaging.

  • Sunburn 

One of the most visible indications of UV exposure and skin damage is sunburn, also known as erythema. Sunburn is a type of short-term skin injury that is characterized by redness and peeling (typically after a few days).

  • Damage to the eyes

The sun can also cause eye damage. UV radiation causes damage to the retina, lens, and cornea. The lens might get clouded as a result of sun damage (cataracts). Sunburned eyes might feel gritty or uncomfortable. Snow blindness is the result of sunburn to the cornea.

  • Suntan

There is no such thing as a tan that is completely safe. The tan color shift in your skin is caused by an increase in skin pigment, called melanin, which is a symptom of damage.

  • Skin cancer 

Even if you don't get sunburned, too much sun exposure raises your risk of skin cancers like melanoma. This is because it has the potential to harm skin cells' DNA. In addition, sunburns during infancy and adolescence might raise your risk of melanoma later in life.

Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light causes sunburn. UV light can come from natural sources like sunshine or artificial sources like sunlamps and tanning beds.

When exposed to UV radiation, particular skin cells create the pigment melanin, which darkens as it oxidizes. An excess of melanin causes tan. A suntan is the body's mechanism of preventing sunburn by filtering UV radiation. However, the defense only goes so far. Skin burns when exposed to too many UV rays.

On chilly or gloomy days, you might become sunburned. This is because UV radiation can be reflected by snow, sand, water, and other surfaces, causing the skin to burn.

Advanced suntan removal therapy costs approx.., between Rs 4,000 and Rs 10,000 in India. The cost is usually determined by the size of the target region, the severity of the tan, the clinic's location and reputation, the doctor's experience, the treatment choice, and the technology employed.

According to reputable parlors, de-tanning treatments range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500 for the face and Rs 700 to Rs 1,500 for the underarms and legs.

Depending on the content and brand, an over-the-counter tan removal cream or lotion might cost anywhere from Rs 100 to Rs 2,000.

The length of a suntan removal treatment is determined by the method and the region to be treated.

Chemical Peels: You will notice a visible reduction in your skin tan following your chemical peel treatment, generally after 1-2 sessions. Dermatologists commonly use chemical peels to remove sun tan from the face, and they may prescribe that you have 4-6 treatments to notice results.

Laser Toning: Immediately after your laser toning treatment, you will notice a visible reduction in tan. You may need 4-6 sessions, depending on the region of your body.

Microdermabrasion: To achieve a visible reduction in your tan, you may need 4-6 microdermabrasion treatment sessions.

Because skin naturally exfoliates over time, a tan is never permanent. The tanned skin begins to peel off as a result of this. In addition, older skin sloughs off as new cells develop.

Overexposure to the sun carries the following risks:

  • Sunburn
  • A rash caused by the heat
  • Aging too soon (skin loses elasticity in the sun, which can cause wrinkles and skin damage)
  • Sweating from the heat causes dehydration
  • Skin cancers such as melanoma and others
  • Looking at the sun can harm the retina's rods and cones; it can cause eye injury

Following are some myths about suntan treatment that you should know:

  • The only method to get a healthy glow is to expose yourself to the sun or a tanning bed.
  • On a cloudy day, you don't need sunscreen.
  • Vitamin D deficiency needs tanning.
  • Sunscreen isn't necessary for people with darker skin.
  • Tanning booths are safe as long as UVB rays are not present.
  • Tanning is harmless as long as you don't burn.

Urban clinics unique approach to treat Sun Tanning

Here are some other ways to get rid of a tan.

  • Tan Removal Cream

Most tan removal lotions on the market brighten the skin's topmost layers. The enzymatic activities that produce melanin synthesis are inhibited by an effective face tan removal cream or serum that reaches the deeper layers of the skin.

  • Lightening Activities

Chemical substances known as lightening actives help to lighten skin by combating darkened skin. Some lightening actives with excellent facial tan removal treatments include licorice, niacinamide, vitamin C, and Kojic acid.

  • Face Pack

​​​​​​​De-tan face packs assist in eliminating tanned skin cells that have collected in your body as a result of UV exposure. They do not make the skin fairer, but they do aid in balancing out the skin tone. Natural substances such as papaya, lemon, and tomato are used in these therapies, and artificial substances such as lactic acid, niacinamide, and willow bark extract. They aid in the whitening of the skin's surface layers.

Best Skin Tan treatment results

Because it is difficult to avoid the sun, the only sensible option is to protect the skin from the sun's harmful UVA radiation.

  • Tan Removal Pack 

When you have some extra time and want to efficiently de-tan, suntan remover packets are great.

  • Tan Removal Scrub 

Scrubs for removing sun tan are efficient because they exfoliate dead skin cells. Avoid aggressive exfoliators if you have acne-prone skin.

  • De-tan Face Wash 

To achieve efficient de-tanning, alternate a tan removal face wash with your normal cleanser.

  • Tan Removal Soap 

To battle body tanning regularly, nothing beats using a suntan remover soap in your daily bath routine.

  • Suntan Lotion 

Before you retire for a good night's sleep, mix a de-tan lotion with your regular moisturizer. There's nothing quite like waking up to even more beautiful skin.

  • Tan Removal Oil 

A tan removal oil can also be used as a nourishing agent if you have dry skin lacking moisture.

  • Tan Removal Cream 

Suntan removal treatments are ideal for dry skin that needs hydration and sun protection. It's time to bid farewell to flaky, sunburned skin.


Treatments with therapies and lasers

The immune system is harmed by sun exposure, which can contribute to more skin damage and aging. As a result, you must combat it with the appropriate tan removal methods. To exfoliate dead skin cells and wash off extra melanin, use one of these treatments:

  • Laser Toning

To break down the melanin pigment and reduce skin tan, a dermatologist utilizes laser equipment. Lasers are monochromatic coherent light sources with high intensity. When this light energy is applied to the skin, it changes to heat energy, allowing it to target a specific chromophore (skin pigment-melanin) without hurting the surrounding tissue. To remove extra melanin, they enter the deeper layers of the skin.

  • Chemical Peels 

The superficial dead skin layers that have collected extra melanin are removed with this type of tan removal procedure. Glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and carbolic acid are some of the chemicals used in chemical peels (phenol). Chemical peels are divided into three types according to their intensity: superficial, medium, and deep.

  • Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a tan-removal procedure that exfoliates dead skin cells containing excess melanin pigment. It encourages new cells to regenerate at a faster pace than usual. As a consequence, your skin will appear firmer, more toned, and younger.

Topical medications

Sunscreens are applied to the skin to protect it from the sun's damaging rays. As a result, they aid in the prevention of sunburn as well as the onset of premature aging (such as wrinkles, leathery skin). Sunscreens also assist in reducing the risk of skin cancer and sunburn-like skin responses (sun sensitivity) that can be induced by some medicines (including tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine). 

Sunscreen active chemicals either absorb or deflect ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, preventing it from reaching the skin's deeper layers. However, wearing sunscreen does not grant you the ability to remain in the sun for extended periods.

Sunscreens cannot shield you from all of the sun's rays. Sunscreens come in various forms, including cream, lotion, gel, stick, spray, and lip balm.

Oral medications

The use of so-called tanning tablets is advertised as a way to tint the skin by consuming large amounts of color additives, most often canthaxanthin. This material is deposited in many body regions, including the skin, where it imparts color when eaten in these massive levels, many times more than the quantity ordinarily absorbed in meals. The hue ranges from orange to brownish, depending on the person. This coloring is not due to an increase in the amount of melanin generated by the skin to protect it from UV radiation.

Canthaxanthin, a food coloring component, is the most prevalent active component in tanning tablets. This color additive is said to produce pigment-changing molecules in your skin when you eat it, and long-term use will darken your skin.

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