Sun Myths

Picture of teens outdoors

Myth 1: “A good tan will protect my skin.”

Wrong. Any tan is skin damage. You get a little protection for the moment and lots of problems down the road. Damaging skin to protect skin is a no-win situation.

Myth 2: “Stay in the water and your skin won’t burn.”

Wrong. Ultraviolet radiation penetrates the water. It can also reflect off bright surfaces such as sand, cement or snow.

Myth 3: “Just knowing the facts about skin cancer will stop people from dangerous overexposure to UV rays.”

Wrong. Knowing the facts is not enough. Teenagers are especially influenced by their perceptions and attitudes as well as the facts. What is accepted by friends will often influence behaviour. Be a role model.

Myth 4: “Skin cancer is curable so there’s no need to be worried.”

Wrong. Yes, skin cancer that is detected early, especially non-melanoma skin cancer, is highly curable, although it can leave scars. Skin cancers found at more advanced stages, particularly melanoma, are more difficult to cure when they have spread to other parts of the body.

Myth 5: “You can’t burn on a cloudy day.”

Wrong. Ultraviolet light does pass through the cloud layer. Don’t be fooled by a day that looks overcast. It isn’t as hot, but you can still get a sunburn. Winter sports such as skiing can cause a great deal of damage to the skin. Skiers bum not only from direct sunlight and through cloud layers, but also from the reflection of the sun off the snow. If the skin is not protected, this can cause severe sunburn.