What To Know About Indoor Tanning

No Tanning Beaches Nearby?

Read Time: 3 minutes

Want a tan right away? No beaches nearby to sunbathe? For many, the solution is the multibillion-dollar indoor tanning industry. With the ability to get a bronzed look, millions use indoor tanning daily. But is tanning more than meets the eye? For tanning newcomers, learning the right details will help in making the best tanning decisions.

How do I get that bronzed look?

By simulating the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, lamps shine UV light on the body. The goal is to get UVA and UVB light to break through the epidermis and dermis of the skin. The skin reacts, creating melanin in self-defense. The melanin gives the appearance of a tan or bronzed look. Hundreds of thousands of tanning salons exist across the country.

How long should tanning happen?

The length and frequency of tanning depends on several factors. Lighter skin types burn easily. So short sessions done 3-4 times per week creates the desired tan for those with fair skin. Darker skin types can usually tan for longer sessions but take fewer turns. Tanning beds usually display a recommended time limit.

An indoor sunburn?

Indoor tanning users sometimes believe by tanning indoors, sunburns are no longer possible. However, burns are possible from tanning beds. Indoor tanning lamps emit less UVB rays than the sun. UVB overexposure is primarily responsible for sunburn. Over 70% of subjects in a recent survey experienced at least 1 sunburn using indoor tanning. The reason could be the concentration of UVB rays per tanning session.

Does tanning damage the eyes?

The UV rays emitted by a tanning bed can damage the eyes. Prolonged exposure causes cataracts and even blindness. When using a tanning bed, closing or covering the eyes is not enough. A pair of UV protective goggles prevents long-term eye damage.

Indoor tanning versus outdoor tanning: Is going outside safer?

Increased exposure to UV light, natural and artificial, carries serious health risks. Overexposure causes skin cancer and even melanoma. Taking in too much sunlight causes sunburn. Sunburns dramatically increase the possibility of skin cancers. Indoor tanning emits more UVA light than the sun. In fact, the FDA considers the bulbs used in tanning beds a carcinogen. Additional side effects of indoor tanning are premature wrinkling, aging, and eye damage. Understand the risks of continuous indoor and outdoor tanning.

Tanning beds as treatment

Besides the cosmetic and feel-good benefits of an indoor tan, tanning advocates suggest additional benefits. For example, indoor tanning provides a source of Vitamin D, similar to sunlight. Tanning beds are also used to treat eczema and psoriasis.

Understand indoor tanning

Indoor tanning provides users with a desired tanned look without spending hours outdoors. However, indoor and outdoor tanning poses risks. At the core, a tan is the skin’s way of defending against the sun’s radiation. Review the risks involved in indoor tanning closely before going under the lamp.

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