Tanning Beds: How Safe Are They

While tanning bed offers a relaxing way to get a tan, it’s not always well recommended. Though most physicians agree that tanning, in general, in not a safe practice, tanning beds come with its own negative feedbacks from clients and also health foundations. Even though tanning industry people insist that tanning beds are suitably safe and rarely cause any abnormal reaction, and on the contrary, help with the user's emotional as well as physical well being.

Most tanning industry experts agree tanning beds emit almost 40% less UV rays than normal exposure to the sun which makes them safer in comparison. They also come with the power to control exposure time and the ratio of UVA and UVB rays, for a perfect balance. Since the beds also filter out most of the burning UVB rays, the chances of getting burned are that much more reduced. The tanning industry also claims that since it’s the UVA, and not the UVB rays that penetrate the skin, any fear of premature aging, burning or thickening of the skin is unfounded.

Some studies even indicate that not getting enough exposure to the sun may actually trigger some forms of cancer, like melanoma, one of the deadliest skin cancers in the world. In fact, repeated sun exposure and heredity rather than sun beds are known to have been more likely causes for skin cancer. Tanning is, as acknowledged by science, the body's defense mechanism against sunburn, and therefore, tanning beds are a harmless and responsible way to get a base tan. Armed with these arguments, the tanning industry insists that tanning beds are, in fact, a “ reliable source of UV exposure.”

Medical research, however, has stated exactly the opposite with almost every study conducted on this issue concluding with the opinion that UV radiation of the tanning beds are directly linked to cancer; in this case, specifically, the malignant melanoma. Researchers believe the UV rays, when penetrating the skin, damages skin fibers and also the elasticity. The long-term effects of exposure to UV rays include premature aging and wrinkles. Though physicians concur the UVA rays are less likely to cause sunburns, they are still linked to conditions such as cancer, damage to the immune system, and weakening of the skin's inner tissues.

Chances for developing skin cancer are estimated to be 300 times (more than 800% for those using tanning beds above 10 times a year) increased or will likely affect 1 out of every 13 people who have used the tanning beds. Though, the chances of it do get decreased, sunburn is something which has happened during the usage of tanning beds. Both UV rays can also damage blood vessels, the eyes or induce allergic reactions. Most doctors across the United Nations are united in their opinion that “there is no such thing as a safe tan”.

Even with these negative findings, the general popularity of tanning beds is yet to take a beating. With both sides taking a strong stance against each other regarding the issue, it is ultimately left to the customer's discretion as to whom to believe and decide accordingly.