Tanning Beds: The Dangers You Need to Know

woman putting lotion for tanning bedWhen it comes to getting a little color, many are willing to lie on a tanning bed, thinking that it is better than exposing themselves out in the sun. If you’re considering the same, you should know that tanning beds, regardless of occasional use, can still damage your skin. This is because they expose you to ultraviolet rays, which can change your skin proteins and cellular DNA.

The Risks are Never Worth It

Dermatologists in Salem note that the cumulative effect of UV rays can lead to premature aging, as they break down collagen and healthy fibers in the skin. It can also increase your risk of skin cancers, as well as eye cancers. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, the use of indoor tanning beds before the age of 35 can increase your risk of melanoma (the deadliest skin cancer) by 59%.

The Dark Side of Melanoma

Melanoma only accounts for about 1% of skin cancers, but it is the fastest growing cancer in the country and around the world. The Melanoma Research Foundation suggests that is the leading cause of cancer death in females in the ages between 25 and 30. It’s also noted that young people who frequently use tanning beds are more likely to develop the said cancer than those who haven’t used them.

Vitamin D and Tanning

There is a misconception saying indoor tanning is a safe source of Vitamin D (or sunshine vitamin). While most tanning bulbs emit UV rays that are needed for the body to produce the said vitamin, they’re not a healthy way to get enough or boost your Vitamin D. The best way to do so is to eat a healthy diet or take a vitamin supplement.

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The Truth About Tanning Outdoors

As you’ve learned about the dangers of indoor tanning, don’t automatically assume the tanning outdoors is better or safer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, tans from the sun or tanning beds and lamps are dangerous. This is because of the ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cell damage. It’s best to educate yourself about the risk of excessive UV exposure to protect you and your loved ones.

If you like to get some tan, stick to other options like sprays or creams. You can also consult your dermatologist to learn more about the alternatives to tanning beds.