A recent research has found that a suntan is the body's best effort to deflect the known cancerous effects of ultraviolet (UV) light.
Researchers at the Harvard-affiliated Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston have conducted a series of experiments and found that a suntan helps prevent the body from the cancerous effects of ultraviolet rays.
However, they maintain that this finding should not make people discard their sunscreen lotions. They insisted that people should avoid excessive sun or other UV exposure nevertheless.
But the researchers revealed that they are also looking for ways to harness the "tanning pathway" that might give fair-skinned people the protective benefits of having a tan without going through the hazards of getting one.
The safe tan would be one produced by activating the skin's tanning process without running the risk of the DNA damage that occurs with exposure to UV light, either naturally from the sun or artificially at a tanning salon.
The research is published in the July 2007 issue of the Harvard Health Letter.