A suntan may look and feel good, but the sun’s rays can cause serious problems when exposure is excessive. Radiation from the sunlight damages the skin. Besides sunburn it has been known to cause various types of skin cancer, including deadly melanomas.
Having tanned or naturally dark skin does not eliminate the need for protection against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The best precaution is to stay out of the sun as much as possible, but if your job requires you to be outdoors in the sun, wear sunscreen and cover your skin with a long-sleeved shirt, a neckerchief, and hat or visor.
Choosing your sunscreen
Sunscreens can make your time in the sun safer for a longer period of time against UV rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the use of the strongest sunscreen for your particular skin type. A skin protection factor (SPF) of 15 is a generic rule, with generally higher numbers for very fair-skinned people. Liberally apply sunscreen every time you’re exposed to the sun, including on cloudy or hazy days.