What effects do tanning beds have on your skin? A lot of people think that the use of tanning beds has no adverse effects on their health; however, this misconception cannot be farther from the truth. Tanning beds pose a number of risks to any individual who uses them.
This tanning equipment does not guarantee the prevention and avoidance of sunburn and is not a “safe alternative” to natural sun tanning or sun bathing.
Healthy tans or safe tans simply do not exist. Studies show that skin damage in relatively young individuals is more common due to the use of sun lamps and tanning beds. It has also been proven that even twenty or thirty years old individuals are known to have pre-precancerous lesions due to these types of equipment.
UVA radiation and skin cancer
Most tanning beds manufactured today mostly give off UVA radiation. This type is said to be less likely to cause any sun burn as compared to UVB, however, this still does not mean that tanning beds are safe.
The lights from tanning beds will increase the individuals risks of getting skin cancer since radiation from UVA rays is categorized as a «cancer causing agent» for humans.
The number of cases of skin cancer has been rising at a steady rate over the past few years. This may be due to the ever increasing exposure to the sun and the increasing popularity of sun lamps and tanning beds.
Every 1 in 3 cancers is said to be skin cancer in the United States alone. This type of cancer is normally caused by over exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The sun typically emits two types of ultraviolet light; these are the UVA and UVB rays.
While UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and damages the skin’s elasticity and destroys the skin’s fibers, both types of rays are known to cause wrinkled cataracts, wrinkled skin, damaged blood vessels, cause photosensitivity allergic reactions and can also damage the cornea and retina of the eye.
These rays also weaken the skin’s inner tissues and the increased exposure to these rays can cause damage that exceeds the body’s natural ability to heal itself and can cause tumors to develop.
Different types of skin cancer could be caused by tanning beds
The cases of melanoma have also been rising steadily. There are studies that show that individuals who were using tanning beds and who were exposed to tanning bed lights before the age of 35 have a higher risk of melanoma as compared to people who have never used this kind of tanning equipment before. Melanoma is an often fatal form of skin cancer if not detected at an early stage.
The risk for other types of skin cancer also increases for individuals who use tanning beds. These other types of cancer are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma.
These individuals are also more prone to develop these types of cancers at an earlier age.
Exposure to tanning devices forces the skin to thicken and produce a substance known as melanin – the pigment that darkens the cells and causes the skin to brown.
However, this process causes some adverse effects over time, effects such as premature aging of skin, greater risk for different types of skin cancer, red, dry and itchy skin, burned skin and damage to the individual’s immune system.
A great number of dermatologists believe that tanning equipment such as tanning beds are a leading factor in cases of skin cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration considers tanning beds as a possible hazard to people’s health and the FDA, together with the Centers for Disease Control, actually persuades people to avoid using tanning beds, or to discontinue the use of such equipment.
When considering the use of tanning beds to achieve the tan you’ve always wanted, keep these effects under consideration. Though these are not guaranteed to affect every individual who uses tanning beds, you can still never be too careful.