22 Jun Is indoor tanning beds healthy for my skin?
During the winter months many people are visiting indoor tanning beds to help along that all year Summery glow.
If under normal conditions you are one of them it may be worthwhile to consider the following facts about the practice of indoor tanning:
Tanning beds are not safe.
The World Health Organisation has declared indoor tanning devices to be cancer-causing agents that are in the same category as tobacco. Using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent. The risk increases with each use. Just one indoor tanning session increases your risk of developing skin cancer (melanoma by 59%, squamous cell carcinoma by 20%, and basal cell carcinoma by 29%).
Tanning makes your skin age more quickly.
People who regularly make use of tanning beds tend to develop wrinkles, age spots, and loss of skin firmness years earlier than people who do not subject their skin to sunbeds.
A base tan does not harden the skin and does not protect against sunburn.
Many people believe that using a tanning bed to get a base tan will harden the skin and prevent sunburn. This is a myth. Even if you have a base tan, you can still burn. Every time you tan or burn, you also damage the DNA in your skin which increases your risk of getting skin cancer.
Tanning beds do not stimulate your skin to produce Vitamin D.
Indoor tanning facilities often promote tanning beds as a way for your body to produce vitamin D. This cannot be further removed from the truth. The bulbs used in tanning beds emit mostly UVA light; however, your body needs UVB light to make vitamin D. If you have low vitamin D levels, rather consider taking a supplement.
Addiction to indoor tanning is a real risk.
Growing evidence indicates that tanning can be addictive. About 20% of 18 to 30-year-old Caucasian women in the USA who regularly use indoor sunbeds show signs of addiction. What is also mind-boggling is that it has also been shown that 15% of patients diagnosed with skin cancer after using tanning beds continue indoor tanning after skin cancer treatment.
Safe sun alternatives
If you would like to have a sun-kissed appearance year-round a self-tanner may prove a much safer option for you. A self-tanner offers you a way to look tanned without increasing your risk of developing early wrinkles, leathery skin, and skin cancer. If you use the right product and apply it correctly, it will look natural — and won’t give you orange skin, streaks, or splotches (unlike Donald Trump!).
If you are someone who has used tanning beds in the past a visit to your dermatologist for skin cancer screening is recommended.