The TRUTH Behind Tanning Beds

I recently came across an article that discussed the dispute about tanning beds and whether or not previous research conducted holds true. In this article, the dangers associated with tanning beds are being questioned, and the writer proceeded to state that there may be positives behind using these UV ray infested machines [shaking my head].

For some CRAZY crazy crazy crazy reason, there are still 2 myths about tanning beds circulating the internet and the news:

  1. Indoor tanning is safer than outdoor tanning
  2. Indoor tanning is a safe source for Vitamin D

Let’s talk Myth #1:

This one is tricky because¬†neither indoor or outdoor tanning is safe for our skin. As we know, sun damage is caused by the harmful UV rays, which are emitted by both tanning beds and from the natural sunlight. When our skin has a “glow”, that is an indication of the damage our skin has experienced from exposure to UV rays. When we expose ourselves to UV rays, our skin produces the pigment known as Melanin, which is what causes our skin to turn to a tan colour.

Yes, everyone loves to have that “tanned” look, especially while travelling to tropical climates. But why is it that people have been lead to believe that a “base tan” from an indoor tanning bed is a real thing? OR that this so called “base tan” will protect you from exposure to the UV rays from the natural sunlight?

The UV rays you are exposed to in an indoor tanning bed (UVA rays) are not the same as the UV rays you are exposed to from the natural sunlight (UVB rays), so why would using an indoor tanning bed to achieve a “base tan” help with protection from the natural sunlight?

Did you know that using an indoor tanning bed increases your chance of developing Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by almost 75%?

Which leads me into Myth #2: indoor tanning is a safe source for Vitamin D

I know that there are many of you that still choose to use tanning beds, and I know many of the tanning salons around have signage indicating that indoor tanning is a healthy source of Vitamin D, but this couldn’t be more untrue. Indoor tanning beds emit roughly 12 TIMES more harmful UVA rays than natural sunlight. The UVB rays (from the natural sunlight) are the ones that produce Vitamin D, not UVA. When you use an indoor tanning bed your skin is barely producing any Vitamin D at all, and it definitely isn’t healthy.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the amount of Vitamin D an individual requires is based on:

Just a few minutes out in the sun is all we need to achieve a healthy amount of Vitamin D. The short, casual exposure you receive while going about daily life, is enough.

Of course it is merely impossible to have zero exposure to UV rays from the natural sunlight, but it is not difficult to protect ourselves. Stop being afraid of sunscreen, and start being smart enough to protect yourself. Stay out of the tanning beds!!!!

“The healthiest of glows is our skin’s natural one” –¬†John Stoddard Cancer Center

 

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