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Ask Dr. Schultz

Is it possible to build up your skin’s resistance to the sun?

Asked by Anonymous 1.86K Rep.

I am a redhead and thus, my skin is a lot more prone to burns than most other people’s. I have been watching your videos on suncreen, sunblock, and sunburns and they have helped a lot. What I wonder is: Is there any way for me to build up my skin’s natural resistance to the sun without sunblock, such as gradually exposing my skin to more sun?

Anonymous answered
    Dr. Schultz 1.86K Rep.

    The bottom line is that you can not increase your skin’s natural resistance without also causing damage. This is because while a tan actually increases resistance (that’s it’s function), it also indicates meaningful sun damage. And that is true even if you get the tan by gradually exposing your skin to more sun. And that’s also only if your skin can tan; most redheads can’t tan just on the basis of the genetics of their skin. On the other hand, of course you can enjoy yourself safely in the sun by using sunscreen. You can learn more about the proper use of sunscreen by visiting the sunscreen episodes on DermTV.

    Dr. Schultz edited answer

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