The Dark Side of Indoor Tanning

We want a healthy glowing skin for the summer. You may think that tanning may be a good solution. You are also well aware that too much exposure to the sunrays is the main cause of skin cancer and skin burn. However, you may think that tanning indoors is a safer option than tanning under the sun. Unfortunately, you are very wrong.

In an indoor tanning bed, you have to lie down in a bed with lights shining from above in order to get a tan. The latest tanning beds have bulbs that do not emit UVB radiation. UVB radiation is short length radiation that is responsible for sunburn. In spite of that, a number of tanning saloons use the older tanning beds that emit UVB radiation.

UVA rays are long wave ultraviolet rays, which give the tanner a false sense of security. Tanners feel that UVA rays are safe and it is okay for them to use a tanning bed if it is using UVA rays as a light source.  Nothing again could be further from the truth. UVA rays are long wave rays that penetrate the skin more deeply. Although these rays do not cause sunburn, yet overexposure to these rays can cause damage to connective tissue beneath the skin and weaken inner connective tissue.

Long term exposure to the sun and to the artificial sources of ultraviolet light, such as UVB and UVA rays, can cause skin cancer. Two types of skin cancer can be caused by UV radiation, whether sunlight or tanning bulbs are the source. These types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. These two types of skin cancer are treatable, if detected at an early stage.

Melanoma is another type of skin cancer that is fatal. Different studies have shown that too much exposure to ultraviolet rays, including UVA rays, can damage the retina, and over exposure can burn the cornea. If eyes are exposed to UV rays repeatedly for many years, it may change the structure of the lens, and can form a cataract.  If it is not treated in time, it may even lead to blindness.

To protect the eyes of the customers, the FDA requires tanning salons to provide their customers with approved protective eye goggles. Wrapping a towel around the eyes, closing eyes or stuffing cotton in the eyes does not adequately protect the eyes from damage.

Sunlight is harsh and very bright. As a result, we cannot stare directly at the sun. On the other hand, the UV radiation in a tanning bed is not harsh. If we do not use protective gear for the eyes, we may risk a number of eye related disorders that may ultimately lead to blindness.