A new study about the possible connection between tanning beds and skin cancer could bring a shiver even to those basking in indoor tanning salons.
The large case-control study published today the by American Association of Cancer Research found that indoor tanning was associated with a 74 percent higher risk of skin cancer. Indoor tanning machines were associated with a four-fold increased risk of skin cancer, researchers said.
To help keep your skin safe this summer, "Good Morning America" spoke to dermatologist Dr. Doris Day, who offered the following dos and don'ts.
Do: Avoid Tanning Beds
In addition to the study noted above, Day said the idea that a base tan protects you is not true. You may not burn as quickly, but you still are damaging your skin.
Do: Wear Sunglasses and Hats
The sunglasses should have UVA/UVB protection and they should wrap around and cover the sides as well as the front of the face. For hats, baseball caps do not cut it. Hats should shade your whole face and head.
Don't: Wax or Exfoliate Right Before Sun Exposure
Things like waxing or exfoliating, anything that causes inflammation or redness, should be done at least seven days before you go to the beach because if the skin is irritated from doing those things, you could burn more easily.
Also, avoid beauty products that could make your skin more sensitive, like alpha hydroxy acid.
Do: Avoid Retin-A Products in the Sun
Avoid Retin-A products when out in the sun. If you use Retin-A, it actually makes your skin healthier, but healthier skin is more sensitive to the sun. The thing to do is use Retin-A at night and make sure to put sunscreen on during the day.
Do: Avoid Drinks with Lemon and Celery in Them
Lemons and celery contain psoralen, which is a photosynthesizing chemical. Just by touching them, you are making your skin more sensitive to the sun. You should avoid handling them or wash your hands after touching them when you are out in the sun.
Another Do: Buy [The Right] Sunscreen
Earlier this month, ABC News senior health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said that one easy way to help battle the possibility of skin cancer is to lather on some sunscreen.
But with so many options out there, which should you get?
According to Besser, it's best to look for sunscreen with the following ingredients:
Paba derivatives, salicylates and/or cinnamates (octylethoxycinnamate and cinoxate) to protect against UVB absorption.
Benzophenones, such as oxybenzone and sulisobenzone, to protect against shorter-wavelength UVA rays.
Avobenzone (parsol 1789), ecamsule (mexoryl) titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to protect against the rest of the UVA spectrum. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide physically block the UVA rays. The other ingredients chemically stop UVA rays from penetrating the skin.