Why Are You Not Allowed to Tan for As Long As You Want?

Indoor tanning is a method to tan your skin in a controlled environment. You can get an even brownish tinge on your skin through various devices, such as tanning beds and sunlamps, which emit ultraviolet rays similar to those emitted by the sunlight. However, the ultraviolet rays produced from a tanning device are more intense than those present in the natural sunlight. Therefore, overexposure to these ultraviolet rays can lead to several harmful effects.

The artificial light used in an indoor tanning salon emits three types of ultraviolet radiations - ultraviolet A, ultraviolet B and ultraviolet C.  All of these can produce side-effects on the skin if delivered in large ratios.

Long-term exposure to the sources of ultraviolet light in a tanning salon can cause three types of skin cancer - Basal Cell Cancer, which is a simple skin cancer that causes scars; Squamous Cell Cancer, which can spread all through the body if left untreated; and Melanoma, a fatal type of cancer.

The other hazardous effects of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation include erythema, actinic keratosis and several phototoxic reactions. Erythema is usually caused by ultraviolet-A rays and may occur as a result of DNA damage.

Overexposure to the ultraviolet rays emitted from a tanning device can also cause severe damage to your eyes. They might damage the retina, burn the cornea, or change the structure of the eye lens to form a cataract. If not treated properly, cataract can even lead to blindness.

Another major harmful effect of overexposure to artificial ultraviolet radiations is that the skin becomes thin. It cannot then heal on its own after the sunburns caused by the ultraviolet rays in the sunlight. Although these affects might not be visible immediately, this inability of the skin to heal itself often leads to wrinkles and premature ageing.

Studies have also revealed that overexposure to ultraviolet light can be addictive because of the release of endorphins in the skin. These endorphins provide positive sensations of relaxation to the body. More specifically, such studies show that indoor tanning device users are more likely to show signs of such addiction. This addition is often comparable with that of substance related disorders, such as those of alcohol and tobacco.

This is the reason why tanning salons limit the duration of tanning sessions to a fixed period of time. The experts present at the salon know what is best for your skin and thus they guide you in the required manner. So, if you were under the impression that you can go about tanning yourself in a tanning salon for as long as you want then you are absolutely wrong.