We all have heard individuals claim that if they do not indoor tan a week to a month before their trip to a warmer climate, they suffer serious burns that ruin their trip. To thoroughly enjoy their trip, prior tanning appears to offer them protection from severe, painful burns and even sun poisoning.
If only this were completely true. There is little positive evidence to support the idea that tanning before a trip will help you. While the small benefit of providing you a little longer time to burn than if you had no tan, this is minor compared to the increased risk of skin and eye cancer, sun damage, premature aging skin, and permanent skin discoloration.
What you should know about tanning?
What you can do instead of indoor tanning?
Rotter, S. Ask the expert: Will getting a tan before going to a sunny environment protect me? Skin Cancer Foundation: Winter 2008 Edition of Sun & Skin News.
Wang, SQ. Ask the expert: Does a higher-SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreen always protect your skin better? Skin Cancer Foundation: Winter 2010 Edition of Sun & Skin News.
Fischer AH, et al. Association of Indoor Tanning Frequency With Risky Sun Protection Practices and Skin Cancer Screening. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Oct 12.