The extent of skin damage caused by tanning greatly depends on the skin type of the individuals. People with skin types I, II and III (who have a white skin) are at greater risk of skin damage due to excessive sun exposure when compared to people with skin types IV, V and VI (who have a brown or black skin).
While white skin burns easily, it tans with great difficulty to a light brown shade. However, moderately brown, dark brown and black skin rarely burns, although it gets heavily pigmented and tans to a dark brown shade owing to the deposition of melanin pigment under the skin.
Skin damage arising out of tanning includes premature skin aging, wrinkling, leathery appearance of the skin, hyper pigmentation and sunburns, which may later even lead to more serious diseases such as skin cancer.
In order to prevent skin diseases and to minimize skin damage, one must protect his skin from the harmful UV rays. Here are some tips to prevent sun damage to your skin:
1. Restricting outdoor activities between peak sunshine hours (i.e. between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.)
2. Wearing sun shielding protective gears such as broad-brimmed hats, long skirts or pants and long-sleeved blouses and shirts in addition to UV protection sunglasses and using umbrellas in order to minimize direct exposure to sunlight.
3. Applying an effective sunscreen lotion (having a high sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more) at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. This will block both the UV-A as well as the UV-B radiations from penetrating your skin and causing any kind of damage. You must remember to apply a fresh coat of the sunscreen lotion every 1 1/2 to 2 hours for maximum protection.