Tan Myths

Published: June 01, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I have questions about the vagina. If discharge is the vagina's way of cleaning itself, then why don't girls have it when they're born? Can soap get stuck in your vagina? How can you be sure of getting it all out?

Dear Tan Myths,

People who have prolonged exposure to the sun or are partial to tanning greatly increasing their risk of developing skin cancer. This is especially true if tanning occurs over a period of years, because damage to the skin accumulates. Also, premature aging of the skin with wrinkles will occur in everyone who is repeatedly exposed to the sun over a long time.

To stay safe from natural sun, stay indoors during times when rays are at their strongest (late morning to mid afternoon), wear long sleeves, pants, a hat, and other clothing to protect your skin. And apply sunscreen (with an SPF of 15 or higher) daily to skin that is exposed, such as your face, hands, ears, and feet. Tanning salons should also be avoided.

Lemmon juice is widely believed to have many benefits for skin. Any fruit containing hydroxy acids facilitate the shedding of surface cells, thus giving older skin a youthful rosy glow. They are naturally found in apples and pears (malic acid), oranges and lemons (citric acid), grapes (tartaric acids),

There are over-the-counter products that lighten skin but TeenHealthFX recommends that you consult with a doctor before using any of them. The most popular bleaching creams contain 4% hydroquinone, a harsh bleaching agent that can destroy the outer layer of the skin. Creams containing more than 2% are banned from some countries. Also prolonged use can burn the skin and can slowly lighten the regular skin tone. Everyone cannot tolerate hydroquinone, either because it is irritating or causes an allergic reaction. 

Remember to use precautions when in the sun and consult with a doctor before you apply any chemical to your body. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment.

Signed: TeenHealthFX