Master Dermatologist: Bernard Ackerman says: 'Tans Protect Against UV!"
"Working on a tan is analogous to training muscles; both, if done in moderation and reasonably, serve a worthwhile purpose." - Dr. Bernard Ackerman, founder of the New York City-based Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology and author of The Sun and the ‘Epidemic' of Melanoma: Myth on Myth.
Ackerman, decorated by the American Academy of Dermatology with the group's Master Dermatologist designation (its highest honor), is one of several dermatology leaders who take issue with dermatology organizations who attempt to characterize tans as damage.
Tans are different fundamentally from sunburns, Ackerman points out. "A sunburn is pathologic, it calling forth redness at the least, ulcerations and scarring at worst, and blisters in between. A suntan is physiologic, the result of normal melanocytes at the dermoedidermal junctions producing more melanin for the epidermis, that dark pigment serving to protect against ultraviolet radiation."
In his Myth on Myth book, Ackerman quotes Newcastle University Professor of Dermatology Dr. Sam Shuster, summing up tans as part of nature's design: "The dogma, now fossilized in print, is that any tan is a sign of skin damage. Tell that to Darwin." Professor Shuster is another in a long line of dermatologists speaking out against organizations and societies who make false claims about taniing and UC exposure.