There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding tanning beds these days. Are they safe? Are they unsafe? Do tanning beds contribute to the factors that cause skin cancers and other types of cancers? There are a lot of questions – and surprisingly few good answers.
What we have been able to establish from what all of the ‘experts’ have to say on the subject is that tanning beds are safer than tanning in the sunshine, largely due to the fact that ten minutes in a tanning bed will give you the same results as being out in the sun for two hours – as far as your tan goes – without the two hours of damage that the sunshine would cause to your skin.
There are two varieties of tanning beds – the kind that you lay down in, and the newer ‘stand-up’ tanning bed, which gives you a more even tan. Tanning beds have a wide range of costs, and can even be purchased for as little as $200 for smaller, lower quality beds. The higher quality, larger tanning beds can run up into the thousands of dollars.
But are they safe? Yes and no. If used as directed, they are relatively safe. You must wear eye protection to protect your eyes from the ultra violet rays, and you must also use the tanning lotions that are specifically designed for indoor tanning. Failure to take these precautions can -and will – result in retina damage, a higher probability of skin cancer, early wrinkles, and even sunburn.
It is also important to start slow when you first start using a tanning bed. Start on the lowest settings, with the minimum amount of time spent in the tanning bed, and get your tan in a gradual way. The lower the settings are, and the less time you spend in the tanning bed, the healthier your skin will be.
This is a good reason to own your own tanning beds, instead of using the ones at tanning salons. The number of trips you will need to make to your local salon, and the number of sessions that you will need to pay for to get the tan that you desire can really add up. In fact, it can even end up costing more than what it would cost to buy your own tanning bed. When looking at this expense, tanners are also tempted to ‘speed up the process’ which usually results in damaged skin.