sun tanning

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sun tanning
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{{short description|The darkening of skin in response to ultraviolet light}}{{redirect|Sunbather|the 2013 album by Deafheaven|Sunbather (album)}}{{more citations needed|date=May 2019}}{{Use American English|date=January 2019}}{{Use dmy dates|date=May 2017}}File:Tan lines on human female chest.jpg|thumb|A visible tan linetan lineSun tanning or simply tanning is the process whereby skin color is darkened or tanned. It is most often a result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or from artificial sources, such as a tanning lamp found in indoor tanning beds. People who deliberately tan their skin by exposure to the sun engage in a passive recreational activity of sun bathing. Some people use chemical products which can produce a tanning effect without exposure to ultraviolet radiation, known as sunless tanning.

Impact on skin health

Moderate exposure to direct sunlight contributes to the production of melanin and vitamin D by the body, but excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays has negative health effects, including sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer,WEB,weblink Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation, 27 August 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink 6 September 2015, dmy-all, as well as depressed immune system function and accelerated aging of the skin.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} Some people tan or sunburn more easily than others. This may be the result of different skin types and natural skin color, and these may be a result of genetics.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} The term "tanning" has a cultural origin, arising from the color tan. Its origin lies in the Western culture of Europe when it became fashionable for young women to seek a less pale complexion (see Cultural history below).

Tanning process

(File:Skin tanning.JPG|thumb|A sun tanned arm showing browner skin where it has been exposed) Melanin is a natural pigment produced by cells called melanocytes in a process called melanogenesis. Melanocytes produce two types of melanin: pheomelanin (red) and eumelanin (very dark brown). Melanin protects the body by absorbing ultraviolet radiation. Excessive UV radiation causes sunburn along with other direct and indirect DNA damage to the skin, and the body naturally combats and seeks to repair the damage and protect the skin by creating and releasing further melanin into the skin's cells. With the production of the melanin, the skin color darkens. The tanning process can be triggered by natural sunlight or by artificial UV radiation, which can be delivered in frequencies of UVA, UVB, or a combination of both. The intensity is commonly measured by the UV Index.{{Citation needed|date=December 2016}}File:Melanin production as a result of tanning.jpg|thumb|Cross-sectional view showing skin tone becoming darker due to the production of more melanin to overcome DNA damage caused by UV radiation ]]There are two different mechanisms involved in production of a tan by UV exposure: Firstly, UVA radiation creates oxidative stress, which in turn oxidizes existing melanin and leads to rapid darkening of the melanin. UVA may also cause melanin to be redistributed (released from melanocytes where it is already stored), but its total quantity is unchanged. Skin darkening from UVA exposure does not lead to significantly increased production of melanin or protection against sunburn.JOURNAL, 10.1111/j.1755-148X.2010.00764.x, 24, 1, The deceptive nature of UVA tanning versus the modest protective effects of UVB tanning on human skin, Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research, 136–147, 20979596, 3021652, February 2011, Miyamura Y, Coelho SG, Schlenz K, etal, In the second process, triggered primarily by UVB, there is an increase in production of melanin (melanogenesis),WEB, Amy Thorlin,weblink The Tanning Process,, 5 February 2006, 15 April 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink 22 July 2009, dmy-all, which is the body's reaction to direct DNA photodamage (formation of pyrimidine dimers) from UV radiation. Melanogenesis leads to delayed tanning, and typically becomes visible two or three days after exposure. The tan that is created by increased melanogenesis typically lasts for a few weeks or months, much longer than the tan that is caused by oxidation of existing melanin, and is also actually protective against UV skin damage and sunburn, rather than simply cosmetic. Typically, it can provide a modest Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 3, meaning that tanned skin would tolerate up to 3 times the UV exposure as pale skin.WEB,weblink U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, 2014, 20, A UVB-induced tan provides minimal sun protection, equivalent to an SPF of about 3., no,weblink" title="">weblink 26 November 2014, dmy-all, However, in order to cause true melanogenesis-tanning by means of UV exposure, some direct DNA photodamage must first be produced, and this requires UVB exposure (as present in natural sunlight, or sunlamps that produce UVB).{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} The ultraviolet frequencies responsible for tanning are often divided into the UVA and UVB ranges.


Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation is in the wavelength range 320 to 400 nm.WEB, ISO 21348 Definitions of Solar Irradiance Spectral Categories,weblink no,weblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2013, dmy-all, It is present more uniformly throughout the day, and throughout the year, than UVB. Most UVA is not blocked by the atmosphere's ozone layer. UVA causes the release of existing melanin from the melanocytes to combine with oxygen (oxidize) to create the actual tan color in the skin.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} UVA is blocked less than UVB by many sunscreens, but is blocked to some degree by clothing. UVA is known both to cause DNA damage and to be carcinogenic. However, it operates not by inducing direct DNA damage, but by producing reactive oxygen species which damage DNA indirectly. UVA (see above) induces a cosmetic tan but little extra melanin protection against sun damage, sun burn, or cancer.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}}


Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is in the wavelength range 280 to 320 nm. Much of this band is blocked by the Earth's ozone layer, but some penetrates. UVB:
  • triggers the formation of CPD-DNA damage (direct DNA damage), which in turn induces an increased melanin production.JOURNAL, Nita Agar, Antony R. Young, Review: Melanogenesis: a photoprotective response to DNA damage?, Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, 571, 1–2, 121–132, 2005, 15748643, 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2004.11.016,
  • is more likely to cause a sunburn than UVA as a result of overexposure. The mechanism for sunburn and increased melanogenesis is identical.JOURNAL, John A. Parrish, Kurt F. Jaenicke, R. Rox Anderson, Erythema And Melanogenesis Action Spectra Of Normal Human Skin, Photochemistry and Photobiology, 36, 2, 187–191, 1982, 10.1111/j.1751-1097.1982.tb04362.x, 7122713, Both are caused by the direct DNA damage (formation of CPDs).
  • produces Vitamin D in human skin.
  • is reduced by virtually all sunscreens in accordance with their SPF.
  • is thought, but not proven, to cause the formation of moles and some types of skin cancer.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}}
  • causes skin aging (but at a slower rate than UVA).{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}
  • stimulates the production of new melanin, which leads to an increase in the dark-colored pigment within a few days.WEB,weblink The known health effects of UV, WHO, 1 December 2010, 1 August 2012, no,weblink" title="">weblink 4 August 2012, dmy-all,

Tanning behavior of different skin colors

A person's natural skin color affects their reaction to exposure to the sun. An individual's natural skin color can vary from a dark brown to a nearly colorless pigmentation, which may appear white. In 1975, Harvard dermatologist Thomas B. Fitzpatrick devised the Fitzpatrick scale which described the common tanning behavior of various skin types, as follows:Fitzpatrick TB: Soleil et peau [Sun and skin]. Journal de Médecine Esthétique 1975; 2:33-34"MEMBERWIDE">WELLER ET AL, 2008, |last = Weller|first = Rauthor3=J Savin |author4=M Dahl
|title = Clinical Dermatology|edition = 4th|publisher = Blackwell Publishing|year = 2008|location = Malden, Massachusetts, USA|pages = 268|isbn = 978-1-4051-4663-0{edih}
{| class="wikitable"!Type !! Also called !! Sunburning !! Tanning behavior !! von Luschan scale| 1–5| 6–10| 11–15| 16–21Brown people>brown" type No Sometimes darkens 22–28Black skin>black" type No Naturally black-brown skin 29–36

Health aspects

File:1950, A Lovely Day To Sunbathe (5441407055).jpg|thumb|Sun tanning, alt=Four dark-haired women tanning on a beach. A rainbow sun umbrella is somewhat visible behind themThe most common risk of exposure to ultraviolet radiation is sunburn, the speed and severity of which vary among individuals. This can be alleviated at least to some extent by the prior application of a suitable-strength sunscreen, which will also hinder the tanning process due to the blocking of UV light.Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation is known to cause skin cancer,WEB,weblink Reviewed Substances,, 13 December 2016, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 16 December 2016, dmy-all, make skin age and wrinkle faster,JOURNAL, Fisher GJ, Wang ZQ, Datta SC, Varani J, Kang S, Voorhees JJ, Pathophysiology of premature skin aging induced by ultraviolet light, N. Engl. J. Med., 337, 20, 1419–28, November 1997, 9358139, 10.1056/NEJM199711133372003, mutate DNA,JOURNAL, Sinha RP, Häder DP, UV-induced DNA damage and repair: a review, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 1, 4, 225–36, April 2002, 12661961, 10.1039/B201230H, and impair the immune system.JOURNAL, Baadsgaard O, In vivo ultraviolet irradiation of human skin results in profound perturbation of the immune system. Relevance to ultraviolet-induced skin cancer, Arch Dermatol, 127, 1, 99–109, January 1991, 1824747, 10.1001/archderm.1991.01680010109019, dmy-all, Frequent tanning bed use triples the risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, according to a 2010 study. The study suggests that the melanoma risk is linked more closely to total exposure than it is to the age at which an individual first uses a tanning bed.Peeples, Lynne. Study: Frequent tanning-bed use triples melanoma risk. {{webarchive|url= |date=30 May 2010 }} CNN. 27 May 2010. The International Agency for Research on Cancer places the use of tanning beds in the highest cancer risk category, describing them as carcinogenic to humans even if used as recommended.{{citation needed|date=April 2017}}Several organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Cancer Society and the US Surgeon General have issued guidelines warning about sun tanning and UV radiation exposure, either from the sun or from indoor tanning.WEB,weblink Sunscreens - IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention Volume 5,, en, 9 February 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink 11 February 2017, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Skin Cancer,, 9 February 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink 17 January 2017, dmy-all, WEB,weblink The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, General, Office of the Surgeon,, en-us, 9 February 2017, no,weblink 9 February 2017, dmy-all, Production of vitamin D is essential for human health. Moderate exposure (avoiding sunburn) to UV radiation provides benefits such as increased vitamin D, as well as other possible benefits that are still being studied.JOURNAL, Baggerly, Carole A., Cuomo, Raphael E., French, Christine B., Garland, Cedric F., Gorham, Edward D., Grant, William B., Heaney, Robert P., Holick, Michael F., Hollis, Bruce W., McDonnell, Sharon L., Pittaway, Mary, Seaton, Paul, Wagner, Carol L., Wunsch, Alexander, Sunlight and Vitamin D: Necessary for Public Health, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 22 June 2015, 34, 4, 359–365, 10.1080/07315724.2015.1039866, 4536937, 26098394, Several tanning activators have used different forms of psoralen, which are known to be photocarcinogenic.JOURNAL, 10.1136/bmj.2.6198.1144-b, Ashwood-Smith MJ., Possible cancer hazard associated with 5-methoxypsoralen in sun tan preparations, BMJ, 2, 6198, 1144, 1979, 519338, 1596980, JOURNAL, M. J. Ashwood-Smith, G. A. Poulton, M. Barker, M. Mildenberger E., 5-Methoxypsoralen, an ingredient in several sun tan preparations, has lethal, mutagenic and clastogenic properties, Nature, 285, 5, 407–409, 1980, 6991953, 10.1038/285407a0, 1980Natur.285..407A, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Zajdela F, Bisagni E, 5-Methoxypsoralen, the melanogenic additive in sun-tan preparations, is tumorigenic in mice exposed to 365 nm UV radiation,weblink Carcinogenesis, 2, 2, 121–7, 1981, 7273295, 10.1093/carcin/2.2.121, no,weblink" title="">weblink 24 January 2009, dmy-all, Health authorities have banned psoralen since July 1996.JOURNAL, Autier P., Dore J.-F., Cesarini J.-P., Should subjects who used psoralen sun tan activators be screened for melanoma?,weblink Annals of Oncology, 8, 5, 435–437, 1997, 10.1023/A:1008205513771, 9233521,

Cultural history

{{See also|Human skin color#Social status, colorism and racism}}File:Monet Umbrella.JPG|thumb|La promenade (1875) by Claude MonetClaude MonetTanning has gone in and out of fashion. In the United States and Western Europe before about the 1920s, tanned skin was associated with the lower classes, because they worked outdoors and were exposed to the sunlight. Women went to great lengths to preserve pallid skin, as a sign of their "refinement".BOOK, Singer, Merrill, Hans Baer, Merrill Singer, Killer Commodities: Public Health and the Corporate Production of Harm,weblink 11 September 2009, 28 July 2008, AltaMira Press, 978-0-7591-0979-7, 151, Harris investigated the history of the parasol... everywhere ordinary people were forbidden to protect themselves with such devices "pallid skin became a marker of upper-class status". At the beginning of the 20th Century, in the United States, lighter-skinned people avoided the sun. ... Tanned skin was considered lower class., Women's outdoor clothing styles were tailored to protect against sunlight exposure, with full-length sleeves, and sunbonnets and other large hats, headscarves, and parasols shielding the head. Women even went as far as to put lead-based cosmetics on their skin to artificially whiten their skin tone.JOURNAL,weblink Agredano, Accessibility to air travel correlates strongly with increasing melanoma incidence, YZ, Chan, JL, Kimball, RC, Kimball, AB, Agredano, Yolanda Z., Chan, Joanna L., Kimball, Ranch C., Kimball, Alexa B., Melanoma Research, February 2006, 16, 1, 16432460, 77–81, 10.1097/01.cmr.0000195696.50390.23, no,weblink" title="">weblink 15 May 2011, dmy-all, However, when not strictly monitored, these cosmetics caused lead poisoning. Light-skinned appearance was achieved in other ways, including the use of arsenic to whiten skin, and lightening powders. The preference for fair skin continued until the end of the Victorian era.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} By the early 20th century, the therapeutic benefits of sunlight began to be recognized.JOURNAL, The Times, 25 August 1900, 1: An advertisement for a 'German Bath In Scotland' offers 'For Health and Pleasure...Pure Air and Sun Baths...', In 1903, Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his “Finsen Light Therapy”.WEB,weblink All Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine, Nobel Media, 29 April 2015, no,weblink" title="">weblink 12 May 2015, dmy-all, The therapy was a cure for diseases such as lupus vulgaris and rickets. Vitamin D deficiency was found to be a cause of rickets, and exposure to sunlight would allow vitamin D to be produced in a person. Therefore, sunlight exposure was a remedy to curing several diseases, especially rickets. In 1910 a scientific expedition went to the island of Tenerife to test the wider health benefits of "heliotherapy",JOURNAL, The Times, 12 March 1910, 12, and by 1913 "sunbathing" was referred to as a desirable activity for the leisured class.JOURNAL, The Times, 4 September 1913, 6, :Describing a visit by the Prince of Wales to the pretty town of Sigmaringen the reporter says: ‘The Castle possesses many delightful terraces which could be adapted for sunbathing.’Shortly thereafter, in the 1920s, fashion-designer Coco Chanel accidentally got sunburnt while visiting the French Riviera. When she arrived home, she arrived with a sun tan and her fans apparently liked the look and started to adopt darker skin tones themselves. Tanned skin became a trend partly because of Coco’s status and the longing for her lifestyle by other members of society. In addition, Parisians fell in love with Josephine Baker, a "caramel-skinned" singer in Paris, and idolized her dark skin. These two women were leading figures of the transformation that tanned skin underwent, in which it became perceived as fashionable, healthy, and luxurious.WEB
, Hanson
, Peter G.
, About Face
, The Effects of Aging, Health and Stress on Your Face
, FaceMaster
, 22 June 2009
, 23 April 2012
,weblink" title="">weblink
, unfit, WEB
, Sun and Clouds: The Sun in History
, 2001
, Magic Bullets - Chemistry vs. Cancer
, The Chemical Heritage Foundation
, By the 1920s, the therapeutic effect of the sun was widely promoted, and two well-publicized French personalities gave "tanning" a fashion boost. Coco Chanel, of designer fame, returned to Paris after a cruise on the Duke of Westminster's yacht with a tan that became all the rage. And the natural caramel skin color of singer Josephine Baker made women all over the world try to emulate her skin tone.
, 20 June 2010
,weblink" title="">weblink
, unfit, BOOK, Koskoff, Sharon, Art Deco of the Palm Beaches,weblink 11 September 2009, 28 May 2007, Arcadia Publishing, 978-0-7385-4415-1, 2, In 1920s France, the caramel-skinned entertainer Josephine Baker became a Parisian idol. Concurrently, fashion designer Coco Chanel was "bronzed" while cruising on a yacht. A winter tan became a symbol of the leisure class and showed you could afford to travel to exotic climates.
, Jean Patou capitalized on the new tanning fad, launching the first sun tan oil "Huile de Chaldee" in 1927.BOOK, The Berg Companion to Fashion, 2010, Berg, 978-1847885630, 554,weblink Steele, Valerie, (File:Sonnendeck - panoramio.jpg|left|thumb|Sunbathing on a cruise ship, 2009) Just before the 1930s, sunlight therapy became a popularly subscribed cure for almost every ailment from simple fatigue to tuberculosis. In the 1940s, advertisements started appearing in women's magazines which encouraged sunbathing. At the same time, swimsuits' skin coverage began decreasing, with the bikini radically changing swimsuit style after it made its appearance in 1946. In the 1950s, many people used baby oil as a method to increase tanning. The first self-tanner came about in the same decade and was known as "Man-Tan", although it often led to undesirable orange skin.WEB,weblink NTP: Report on Carcinogens (RoC), 13 February 2009,, 29 July 2009, no,weblink" title="">weblink 12 June 2011, dmy-all, Coppertone, in 1953, marketed its sunscreen with a drawing of a little blond girl and her cocker spaniel tugging on her bathing suit bottom, revealing her bare bottom and tan line; this advertisement was modified around the turn of the 21st century and now shows a little girl wearing a one-piece bathing suit or shorts.WEB,weblink Sunscreen Lotion, Spray & Sun Care Products - Coppertone® - Coppertone®,, 1 May 2018, no,weblink 26 October 2016, dmy-all, In the latter part of the 1950s, silver metallic reflectors were common to enhance one’s tan.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} In 1962, sunscreen commenced to be SPF rated, although SPF labeling in the US was not standardized by the FDA until 1978. In 1971, Mattel introduced Malibu Barbie, which had tanned skin, sunglasses, and her very own bottle of sun tanning lotion.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} In 1978, both sunscreen with an SPF 15 rating as well as tanning beds first appeared. In 2007, there were an estimated 50,000 outlets for indoor tanning; it was a five-billion-dollar industry in the United States,NEWS
, Wright
, Dan
, Working The Tan
, The Daily News-Record (Harrisonburg, Virginia)
, 16 August 2007
,weblink" title="">weblink
, yes
, 20 April 2010
, The tanning industry has grown about 25 percent over the past six years, according to the Indoor Tanning Association. In the United States, about 25,000 free-standing tanning salons employ 160,000 people and generate more than $5 billion in annual revenue, the association said.
, 11 September 2009, and had spawned an auxiliary industry for indoor tanning lotions including bronzers, intensifiers, and accelerators. Since then, the indoor tanning industry has become more constrained by health regulations.NEWS,weblink Twilight of the Tanning Salons, Patrick, Clark, Bloomberg News, 5 October 2016, 9 October 2016, no,weblink 10 October 2016, dmy-all, In China, darker skin is still considered by many to be the mark of the lower classes. As recently as 2012, in some parts of China, ski masks were becoming popular items to wear at the beach in order to protect the wearer's face from the effects of sunlight.NEWS
, Levin
, Dan
, Beach Essentials in China: Flip-Flops, a Towel and a Ski Mask
, 5 August 2012
, New York Times
, 3 August 2012
, no
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 5 August 2012
, dmy-all
, A 1969 innovation is tan-through swimwear, which uses fabric perforated with thousands of micro holes that are nearly invisible to the naked eye, but which transmit enough sunlight to approach an all-over tan, especially if the fabric is stretched taut. Tan-through swimwear typically allows more than one-third of UV rays to pass through (equivalent to SPF 3 or less), and an application of sunscreen even to the covered area is recommended.NEWS, The New York Times, Tan-Through Fabric Lets Sun Shine In,weblink Angela, Taylor, 17 October 1969, 55, 30 November 2014, no,weblink" title="">weblink 12 October 2013, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink Scorecard: No nudes is good news, Sports Illustrated, 1 September 1969, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink 12 October 2013, permits 40% of the sun's ultraviolet rays, NEWS, Daily Express, Tan-tastic bikini that lets rays shine through,weblink 30 May 2009, 17 September 2014, 80 per cent of UV rays... a stretchy yarn described as 'a chicken wire mesh material',

Sunless tanning

File:715px-Sunbedoff large.jpg|thumb|An artificial source tanning bedtanning bedTo avoid exposure to UVB and UVA rays, or in seasons without strong sunshine, some people take alternative steps to appear with darkened skin. They may use sunless tanning (also known as self-tanners); stainers which are based on dihydroxyacetone (DHA);WEB,weblink Dihydroxyacetone, 6 July 2010, no,weblink" title="">weblink 28 July 2010, dmy-all, or cosmetics such as bronzers.{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} Many sunless tanning products are available in the form of darkening creams, gels, lotions, and sprays that are self-applied on the skin. There is also a professional spray-on tanning option or “tanning booth” that is offered by spas, salons, and tanning businesses.WEB,weblink Sunless tanning: A safe alternative to sunbathing, 6 July 2010, no,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2010, dmy-all, Spray tanning does not involve a color being sprayed on the body, instead it uses a colorless chemical which reacts with proteins in the top layer of the skin, resulting in a brown color.

See also




External links

{{Commons category|Sunbathing}} {{Nudity}}{{sunscreening agents}}

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