By Jessica C., Research Assistant, 9:30 p.m. | While Jaboner Jackson extends his vacation past the one week mark in the Brazilian jungles (or something like that), Rock Mayock has finally allowed me more free reign in the FOOTBALLPHDS offices. So instead of getting all excited about knee and hamstring injuries with Dr. Riaz, it’s time to look at something more important during this summer—tanning. So I tracked down Hassan A. Riaz, MD, MBA, to see what’s the best way to get your tan on during this season of hot fun and hot messes. Thankfully, there’s no disclaimer about Dr. Riaz not treating the athlete in discussion because he is definitely giving me some advice. BTW Jaboner promises to be back sometime next week to bring you all the stadium news and NFL in LA news and all that blah blah blah etc etc etc.
All right, Doc. Jaboner is off in the rainforest somewhere so it’s back to you and me on these Injury Reports. It’s like it’s back to Damon and Elena (Hint: Vampire Diaries) on the blog. So is tanning really that bad for you, Doc?
Yes, it is. The best rule of thumb is this one—sun is bad for the skin. Sun damage happens quickly and irrevocably. Although most people worry about skin cancer, few people realize that sun causes aging of the skin. It’s generally true that younger looking individuals look younger because they’ve avoided the sun.
But a tan looks and feels oh so good, Doc. So what about tanning salons? Is this better than sun tanning?
No, not really. Salon tanning also relies on ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays cause skin damage no matter the source, whether it be the sun or a tanning bed.
Okay, Doc, but really I don’t think anyone is going to stop tanning, especially not with Vegas pool party season in gear. So what’s the best treatment for a sunburn?
The best treatment for a sunburn is not avoid a sunburn by avoiding the sun. If the sun cannot be avoided, apply sunscreen with a high SPF, at least 15 for darker skinned individual and 30 SPF for lighter skinned individuals.
You didn’t answer my question, Doc.
If you happen to get sunburned, the most important thing is to avoid additional sun exposure. The damage will continue if you continue to sunbathe. Other than that, aloe vera has some cooling properties. Over the counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen or Tylenol, can help with sunburn pain.
Anything else, Doc?
Yes, children are especially susceptible to skin damage. It’s estimated that about 80% of a person’s sun exposure happens before the age of 18. So get your children out of the sun and properly prepared with sunblock.
Are we hitting The Standard Pool Party this Sunday in downtown?
Yes, but I will be in the shade of course. Hopefully the UV index will be at a minimum.
ABOUT DR. RIAZ: Hassan A. Riaz, MD, MBA is President of Mercy Medical Center outside of Long Beach, CA. He went to medical school at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and did his postgraduate training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. You may contact him at email@example.com and his assistant will try to get him to respond.
Jessica C. Research Assistant