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Tanning Beds Vs. Natural Sun Tanning: Which is Safer?

Dec 5, 2007
When it comes to getting a sun tan, you can choose from between getting a natural sun tan by spending time outdoors or you can get a tan by visiting a tanning bed. Both methods can provide you with the same quality of tan, though a tanning bed is convenient because you can tan throughout the year. Nonetheless, is a tanning bed the safest option when it comes to tanning, or is there no real difference in safety when comparing tanning beds to natural sun tanning?

The Benefits of the Sun

Both natural sun rays and tanning bad rays contain UVA and UVB rays, which are potentially damaging to your skin. In fact, studies have shown over and over again that exposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. One benefit the sun has, however, is the fact that it helps the skin produce melanin. This special pigment actually helps your skin naturally resist the damages associated with UV rays. Natural sunlight also helps to stimulate your body's production of vitamin D, which helps keep your skeleton strong, boosts your immune system, and promotes the absorption of nutrients.

The Risks of Cancer

Whether you tan with natural sun or with the help of a tanning bed, regularly exposing your skin to these rays can be damaging to your skin if you do not follow the proper precautions. Many studies have shown, however, that the rays in tanning beds may be more harmful when it comes to increasing cancer risks.

UVA radiation is the primary form of radiation utilized in tanning beds, and some scientists believe there is a strong association between these rays and the development of malignant melanoma. Some studies have shown that women who visit a tanning bed at least one time each month are 55% more likely to develop melanoma than those women that do not obtain artificial tans. Studies also showed that people who used sun lamps to help them with tanning while in their 20s increase their risk of cancer by 150% when compared to women that did not use tanning beds.

Gaining Control of the Tanning Process

One benefit of tanning indoors is the fact that you can better control the amount of exposure you receive. The FDA requires tanning beds to automatically shut off at a predetermined time. Therefore, if you tan with a tanning bed, you have greater control over how long you tan and the intensity of the tan. This makes it far less likely that you will get burned during the tanning process.
About the Author
Baxter Owens is the developer of www.tantans.com, a premium Tanning Lotion website & vendor. TanTans.com offers premium tanning lotion at wholesale prices, including
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