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The Truth About Tanning Beds

Aug 17, 2007
The population is divided into two parts: one half wants a tan, the other doesn't. But even if you want a tan, unless you live on the coast your options are rather limited. Of course, science decrees nothing impossible, and that's how tanning beds came into existence.

Tanning beds provide an alternative for those who don't live anywhere near a beach by using lamps that produce light rays similar to those of the sun. The difference between a tan acquired on the beach and on a tanning bed is impossible to see. Adding to that, beds are said to be a safer alternative to the sun and its ultraviolet rays. However, are they really as safe, as their manufacturers declare?

Ultraviolet radiation has three types; UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is always absorbed by the ozone layer, but when you bathe in the sun both UVA and UVB are sure to directly hit your skin. It has been known for some time that UVB rays, shortwave ultraviolet rays that burn only the outer layer of skin, are actually harmful and can cause skin cancer. Once this became public knowledge, tanning beds began to use UVA instead. But new discoveries show that UVA can be just as harmful to your body as UVB, if not more since they penetrate far deeper. Both types of rays are still used in tanning beds.

Research has shown that over the past few years, the number of people dying of skin cancer has increased greatly. One type of cancer, otherwise known as malignant melanoma, is suspected to have a link to UVA radiation, which can be picked up from the sun as well as indoors tanning. The death toll is expected to increase every year until people realize what tanning actually does to their skin.

How do people safely get a tan then, if neither the sun nor tanning implements are healthy? The key is not to overdo it. Try to limit your exposure to sunlight, natural or artificial. Use sunscreen or sun block as much as you can, and if you use artificial means to tan, always ask the salon staff what the recommended time limit for your skin type is. Protect your eyes with sunglasses or goggles to prevent dryness of eyes as well as possible harm from the rays.

Lastly, if you have a disease that can be aggravated by exposure to sun rays, please be careful when using tanning beds and the like. Always consult your doctor before taking any steps toward acquiring a tan.
About the Author
Suntan-bed.com provides you with information on how to determine what the best tanning beds are and where you can get your tanning bed supplies.
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