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U of M public health researcher DeAnn Lazovich says her current research definitively links indoor tanning to melanoma, the worst form of skin cancer.

"Base tanning" for Spring Break not a good idea, says U of M expert

March 14, 2011

Droves of college students will take flight to warm weather destinations such as California, Florida and Mexico for spring break in the next few weeks. In preparation, many are visiting indoor tanning salons to prep their pale skin for extreme and prolonged exposure to the sun. But does “base tanning” reduce your odds of getting sunburned – or somehow prepare your skin for prolonged exposure to the sun?

A University of Minnesota expert who can comment on "base tanning" is:

DeAnn Lazovich, University of Minnesota associate professor and public health researcher

Lazovich says base tanning absolutely does not work. Lazovich’s most current research definitively links indoor tanning to melanoma, the worst form of skin cancer. She doesn’t advocate the practice in any scenario.

“Indoor tanning prior to vacation in warm weather does not somehow magically give your skin immunity to the sun’s damaging rays,” she said. “Any change in skin color means more burning and skin damage is occurring.”


Lazovich advises spring breakers to take more viable precautions than “base tanning” such as staying out of the sun between 10-3 p.m. when the ultraviolet rays are strongest, applying liberal doses of sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater multiple times each day, and says people should use accessories such as umbrellas, sunglasses and hats.

To interview Lazovich, contact Nick Hanson, Academic Health Center, or (612) 624-2449; or contact the University News Service at (612) 624-5551.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: Academic Health Center

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[YouTube] - Video of Lazovich discussing base tanning and other spring break tanning tips