New NICE guidance suggests 'safe suntanning' does not exist

10 February 2016

New guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has warned British people that there is no entirely safe or healthy way of getting a tan from sunlight.

The watchdog has published the report to help UK people enjoy the sunshine more safely, without putting themselves at risk of skin cancer caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Its advice indicates that an existing tan provides little protection against sun exposure, meaning adults are advised to use around 35 ml of sunscreen of at least factor 15 per application.

Other recommendations include professionals offering one-to-one advice tailored to the individual's level of risk, as well as national and local media campaigns to emphasise how the risks and benefits of sunlight will vary depending on the person.

It was also noted that avoidance of overexposure to the sun should be balanced against the fact that some sunlight is essential for ensuring healthy levels of vitamin D.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: "We need to better identify groups at risk of over or under exposure to sunlight and give them better understanding of why they may need to modify their behaviour and how."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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