Think Your Tan Provides a Healthy Glow?

Do you think people look healthier and more attractive with a tan? If so, you're not alone, according to a survey released Monday by the American Academy of Dermatology.

However, you'd also be wrong.

The survey found that 72 percent of respondents find tanned skin more attractive than pale skin, while 66 percent said a tan provides a healthy glow. In addition, 60 percent were under the mistaken impression that sun exposure is good for one's health.

Those attitudes may help explain why skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. So might these other common misconceptions about tanning:

37 percent mistakenly believe that indoor tanning beds are safer than outdoor sun exposure

40 percent aren't aware that burns and tans during childhood are linked to skin cancer in adults

52 percent think a base tan protects the skin from further sun exposure, even though it doesn't

65 percent don't realize that all UV rays are harmful for skin

For more on the survey, check out this fact sheet on tanning. The Academy also has this useful resource to help people distinguish normal moles from early signs of skin cancer. Tips for conducting a skin cancer self-exam are available here:

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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