What is Tanning?
Tanning happens when the UVA rays of the sun penetrate the epidermis and trigger the skin cells called melanocytes to make melanin, which is the insoluble pigment that account for the brown coloring of the skin. The more your body is exposed to UVA rays, the tanner you will become.
The brown pigment melanin gives our body protection from the skin burning. People on the dark side tan almost twice as fast compared to fair-skinned people because their melanin synthesis is more active. However, it does not mean to say that darker people are skin cancer-proof just because they do not get sunburns often.
Ultraviolet radiation is composed of 3 wavelengths, namely UVA, UVB and UVC. The first two sun rays reach the skin and penetrate into its deeper layers causing burning, photo aging and tanning.
The Effects of Tanning on Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are linear streaks caused by the damage to the underlying connective tissues in the dermis. They also appear because of reduced collagen production due to increased levels of a steroid hormone called cortisone. What this steroid hormone does is weaken the elastin fibers present in the dermal connective tissues, which makes it difficult for the skin to cope with frequent or excessive stretching. When expansion is more than what the skin can tolerate, stretch marks occur. These pinkish, purplish or reddish angry streaks fade in time; though no one can really predict how long before the stretch marks lighten. Stretch marks treatment depends on the age and severity of it.
Some are effective only for the fresh marks while the more abrasive and costly ones are intended for the aged stretch marks. Keeping the skin hydrated at all times is one method that can prevent stretch marks from appearing. Stress triggers the release of cortisone, so if you want to keep stretch marks at bay stay away from stressful situations.
Experts have recommended sun tanning as a way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. For faster results, it is best to use self-tanning lotions rather than spending quality raw time under the sun. Self-tanning lotions even out the skin tone, hence making stretch marks less noticeable.
As mentioned in the introduction, melanin is the pigment that causes the skin to turn brown. Every time you are under the sun, the melanocytes are activated to release melanin. Sun tanning to trigger melanin production, as a method for reducing the appearance of stretch marks, works for people who have brown-colored stretch marks. Spend some quality time under the sun to get some golden, healthy tan to match the brown coloring of your aged stretch marks. Make sure your skin is protected with sunblock lotion.
Change of Skin Tone
No matter how long you spend time under the heat of the sun, your stretch marks will not get any darker. UVA rays may turn your skin to brown but not your stretch marks. If you are fair-skinned and your stretch marks are light in color, think twice before indulging yourself in some tanning activity. Stretch marks do no tan, so if your stretch marks have faded into silver-white in color, tanning will only make them more pronounced. If you hate your light colored linear streaks, you will hate them even more after tanning.
Collagen and Elastin Damage
The harm the sun rays do to our skin is not old news. Prolonged skin exposure to UVA and UVB rays hasten the aging process, and this is evidenced by brown spots, immature wrinkles and fine lines. The best way to prevent all these unwanted side effects of ultraviolet radiation is to make your skin is always protected, even if you are indoors. Make sunblock with at least SPH 30 a part of your daily regimen.
Sunburn happens when your skin have had too much exposure to the sun. To experience sunburn is a grueling process. It is painful, takes days to heal and increases your risk to skin cancer. When your skin is left unprotected under the sun for a long period, you are running the skin of burning your skin, including your stretch marks.
Tanning is a process in which skin pigmentation darkens as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light. UVA and UVB rays are responsible for photo aging, sun burning, and tanning. When the UVA rays reach the epidermis, skin cells melanocytes are encouraged to produce melanin, the pigment responsible for the brown color. Tanning may give the skin a uniformed, healthy, golden tan tone due to hyperactive melanin production, but it is also responsible for a number of unpleasant effects.
Tanning as a solution to make stretch marks look less noticeable is only effective to people who have dark colored stretch marks. Since stretch marks are not receptive to tanning, tanning makes light stretch marks more striking. Unprotected tanning is also held responsible for premature wrinkles and fine lines, skin pigmentation, and sunburn.