Health Risks of Tanning Beds
Even before winter has ended many people dream of getting the ultimate tan when the spring and summer months arrive. Almost everyone has heard how dangerous the sun’s UV rays can be on your skin, but are you aware that tanning beds can pose a health risk as well? The truth is some research has noted that the use of tanning beds increases your chance of developing melanoma, or other skin cancers, compared to those individuals who never use them. Furthermore, the risk factor increases the more frequently an individual uses the tanning salon.
Here are some of the dangers associated with the use of tanning beds.
• Dangerous UV Rays
To begin with, both UVA, and UVB rays are dangerous to the skin. Many tanning salons may dispute this claim, however, stating that their tanning salons are safe because they use UVA rays, which they say are less dangerous than UVB rays. Some recent studies dispel this claim by disputing even further that UVA rays may even pose a greater risk for skin cancer than was previously thought.
There is an increased risk for developing skin cancer with the use of tanning beds. The fact is any prolonged exposure to UVA, or UVB rays, can increase your risk of developing skin cancer later on in your life. Many people repeatedly use tanning beds to achieve a faster and deep tan all year-long. The problem lies in the fact that, although initial exposure to tanning beds, or prolonged sun exposure, may not show any development of skin cancer right away, years later skin cancer can appear.
• Risk of Burns to the Cornea
Tanning beds can increase your risk of developing dangerous burns to the eyes corneas. Some tanning beds may actually exceed the UV limits, which can pose an even greater risk of the dangerous UV rays penetrating your skin or eyes. The increased levels of UV rays may also increase your risk of developing certain types of cataracts.
• May Cause Skin Irritation and Premature Aging of the Skin
Using tanning beds may cause itchy and dry skin. This skin condition can worsen if constant scratching occurs leaving the skin red, swollen, or inflamed, which can lead to a more serious condition if the skin becomes infected. Some people even use tan accelerator products on the skin, which may contain ingredients that are unhealthy for your skin. Tanning beds can accelerate premature wrinkling of the skin with extended use, and prolonged use of tanning beds can reduce the resilience of your skin which can contribute to sagging skin.
It’s best to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, or the use of tanning beds, to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more is usually recommended, if you are going to be outdoors for any extended period of time.
If, however, you do use tanning beds it’s best to limit your time at the salon, and always protect your eyes by covering them with appropriate eye-wear to help block harmful UV rays.