To Tan or not to Tan?….now there’s a question!

Just look at the youtube above, isn’t it wonderful, all that pristine sand, fantastic blue and azure seas, great scenery, and endless cotton wool dabbed sunny skies. What could be better than a sun bed or a sun-soaked-lie-on-the-beach summer holiday, and, looking at such a video who wouldn’t book their suntan bed, rush off to the travel operator or jump on the laptop, or whatever, so as to book a place in the sun?

That was the comment that was made to me at work when I returned to my work place after ten days in Switzerland. My response was to smile yet shake my head slowly, and that infuriated my colleague who simply couldn’t understand why I went to Switzerland, and why I wasn’t interested in lying on a sunbed or spending one or two weeks lying in the sun.

Nevoid melanoma: There are expansile nodules deforming the papillary dermis.

Nevoid melanoma: There are expansile nodules deforming the papillary dermis.

At the time I had no access to a computer to show her why I was so disinterested, but the picture on the right of the screen may well tell you why.

It looks pretty doesn’t it, all those colourful red, blues, and purples, and when I was working in a histopathology lab we used to prepare loads of sections and thereby slides like this, but look at the caption that is below the, and see how pretty the picture is then.

Look at the second word, even if the rest of the caption means nothing to you. Melanoma. It is unfashionable to use the “C” word in polite society, but melanoma is a form of cancer which, though sometimes can be benign, can also be malignant, very malignant, up to a point where it can kill.

Why I cannot understand is why anyone would ever want to take such a risk through overexposure to the sun.

Sensible exposure with suitable protection I do understand, for, as can be seen by following this link, the benefits of controlled exposure to sunlight seem to be verifiable, but how many of us really take such care when we jump onto a sunbed, go abroad to a hot climate, or even, on the hot summer day in Britain, go outside to toast ourselves in the sun?

How many bright red bodies do we see around us, how many times do we really look at ourselves in the mirror, and how many times de we feel, or see others exhausted by the sun. Too few of us I suspect, as I see an unending stream of butnt and skin peeling bodies passing my work counter, and all to many visiting their local or holiday destination A & E.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people having a bit of fun and, granted, the mountains were all the more quieter as such sun worshipers were not there, but when I hear such comments about holiday ideas or destinations, or hear of others suffering from malignant melanomas then I really do begin to wonder what is going on. For those who want to know more about such matters by the way, or for those who simply want to sunbathe with greater safety, please click here.

Oh yes, just two more final observation. I know of someone who, in order to get a cheap fast suntan, covers herself in cooking oil before soaking up the sun. Barbecued shoulder, dead skin cells, or roast belly anyone, or am I just completely insane.

Then see the youtube below. If you like the idea of a bit of sunburn toasting or roasting just look at it, if you can bear watching it, and then see if it has changed your mind.

Happy holidays folks, have a good time



Categories: Reality Checks

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