Some people are under the misconception that indoor tanning beds can’t harm you. While they aren’t as dangerous as the rays from the sun, UVB rays in tanning beds do pose a danger.
Shortwave ultraviolet rays are those classified as UVB rays. They can cause your skin to burn and have a red color just as the real sun can. If you are exposed to UVB rays too often, you have a very high risk of skin cancer.
It is also important that you wear proper eye protection when you use tanning beds or you can harm the retina. In rare cases, you can also burn the cornea. Many people who develop cataracts also tan, leading researches to believe there is a connection.
Most people don’t realize that the UV rays from a tanning bed are twice what you get when you are exposed to the sun. UVB rays are what gives your skin that tanned look and UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin.
The amount of UVB rays a particular tanning bed gives our varies by salon. In some cases, it even varies by tanning beds in a given salon. For example, I used to tan at a salon with four beds. I always stayed in the beds for the same amount of time. Yet if I used the number three bed, I would always burn. I finally had to ask not to be placed in that particular room.
The debate is still out about how much tanning is too much. Some researchers claim if you use tanning beds in moderation then you have nothing to worry about. Other researchers believe even occasional use of tanning beds increases your chances of different types of skin cancer. Statistically, at least one million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer each year as the result of using tanning beds.
If you don’t get cancer from using a tanning bed, you can still end up with skin that looks very unhealthy due to the UVB rays. It can lead to premature aging because the skin become leather like. It can also lead to many wrinkles forming on the face.
FDA says “NO” to tanning beds
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that the UVB rays in tanning beds can lead to health concerns including allergic reactions. Studies show that UVB ray exposure from tanning beds can have medical concerns as well. They can lead to changes in a person’s DNA and the result is skin tumors. The use of birth control pills, prescription drugs, and various antibiotics combined with UVB rays from tanning beds can be a health risk.
Too many manufacturers of tanning beds give people the impression that they are safe to use. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started a campaign to inform people about the dangers. They also regulate the labels that go on tanning beds and the advertisement methods used.
Corrective actions including fines and injunctions to stop manufacturing or operating tanning beds are being initiated by the FTC. The idea is to help protect those who continue to use such tanning beds.
Most of the information we have about UVB rays and tanning beds indicate that it really isn’t a safe activity to take part in, either occasionally or on a regular basis. Yet millions of men and women continue to do it. Some of them are misinformed and believe that tanning beds are 100% safe.
Other people know of the risks involved, but they don’t think anything will happen to them. Our society puts such a focus on looking great that many people are concerned with looking beautify today instead of the long term effects for their future.