Effects of Tanning Beds Harmful

A Cartersville High School student asks if the look of sun-kissed skin is really worth it.

Gretchen, a junior at , opens the door and smells the scent of cocoa butter, as palm trees and beach themes decorating the walls. 

There are racks of tanning products, sun towels and goggles lining the wall behind the counter. She hears the sound to justify the switch that turns on the UVA radiation to heat projecting bulbs that burn the skin: the tanning bed. 

The UVA radiation in tanning bed bulbs is up to three times more intense than UVA in natural sunlight, reports Dr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson of Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Is it really worth it?

A tanning bed is an apparatus used for tanning, consisting of sunlamp tubes, typically horizontal for lying on, with another above. 

Tanning can be addictive. For some, the UV radiation can have a drug-like effect to where they feel dependent on it. 

As we all know, tanning and the sun can cause skin cancer. Some are more dangerous than others. Your risk of Melanoma increases by 75 percent when you use tanning beds before the age of 35. 

Melanoma is the most aggressive of the three major categories of skin cancer.  

The beds don’t only cause skin cancer; they can cause premature skin aging and eye damage. Premature aging can for leathery, wrinkled skin and dark spots. 

Getting eye damage can cause tearing, pain, swollen eyelids, and/or hazy and decreased vision. 

Only in some, not many circumstances, is it healthy for you to lie in a tanning bed. 

Do you really want to risk your chances of getting skin cancer and other effects of laying in the tanning bed just because you wanted to be tan for high school Prom?

Chuck Price February 05, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Sorry but your information here does not tell the while story or the truth. There is no proof that tanning in a tanning bed before 35 increases your chance for melanoma. That is false as is most of what you state as being fact. First of all there has never been any study to prove this. Secondly there has never been a case of someone who only tans in tanning beds and never tans in the sun. Third OVEREXPOSURE to UV light ( which is not radiation ) can cause skin damage. This is true weither from the sun or tanning bed. But Tanning beds create a regulated and controlled environment in which to get a tan. Unlike the sun which can change from day to day on the UV exposure it gives you. If you want real info and true info on tanning attend one of the open to the public classes I hold at my salon each year at Southern Exposure Tanning. Final thought the better tan you have the less risk you have of burning when you do go in the sun. So if you tan following our program you will decrease your risk of over exposure while increasing your Protection from burning. Do you realize that you damage your muscles everytime you work out and you actually receive the flu virus when you get a flu shot. Vaccines are made from the same things we try to protect ourselves from. So why is tanning so bad when if done properly it can be a great way to improve the Quailty of life for people by allowing them to remain outside longer while minimizing their chance of burning? Search for More then 1 source.
Elizabeth Gregory February 05, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Any tan is sun damage. Any sun damage is not good. Tanning increases your chances of skin cancer, not to mention making you look like an old leather shoe. Ask any dermatologist about this. They are MD's not tanning salon owners. I think I would trust their judgement better. P.S. the flu vaccine you receive does not contain the live virus. So you can't get the flu from it.
String Bean February 05, 2012 at 03:32 AM
I've actually seen studies that show ersponsible use of tanning beds helps prevent skin cancer. If you're getting anough Vitamin D, normal tanning bed use is not a health concern.
Bill Thrasher February 05, 2012 at 11:40 AM
A major concern is "responsible" use of a tanning bed plus the rather voluminous medical evidence that UV-A actually penetrates deeper. A decent place to look is: Reference: "Sunbeds, tanning and UV exposure". World Health Organization (WHO) Fact Sheet No. 287, March 2005.
Chuck Price February 07, 2012 at 10:15 PM
We are not MDs but some of us do understand tanning and the effects it has on the body. And you can get the flu from the flu shot and you can get chicken pox from the vaccine. And you can get live virus flu shots. If you read my statements you would see that I advocate responsible tanning only. We never purposely allow people to overexpose their skin in our salon. And it is obious that you are only repeating what you think you know and not facts. Let's look at the percentages of people With melanoma and their ages. Largest increases are people over 60. Woops don't know many 60 year old people who use tanning beds. Melanoma is only on the rise because more people are being seen and the awareness has increased. Just as it has with all cancer rates. Look at how many of those people have a history of melanoma in their families and then let's see what the real risk is. How many of those that are left can be traced to tanning beds. 0% I bet you also think tanning while pregnant will harm the fetus. And that it cooks your insides. I don't want to start a personal verbal war but you should stick to the facts that you can back up with statistics and study's not what you think a dermatologist would say. Did you know that people who tan regularly and responsibly can decrease their chance of other cancers by unto 60%. This includes breast cancer. Ovarian cancer. Colan cancer. Now which kills more people. Melanoma or these other cancers. Talk to your MD about that.
Beachbum February 07, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Actually my husband and I are going for our annual skin check at Marietta Dermatology next week. I will print out your post and ask my doctor to advise me of a factual reply. I will post after our appointment next Friday.
Chuck Price March 11, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I would really like to hear what your Dermatologist said.
Howard Johnson March 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Do they have "shade beds" as well, seeing as both sun and shade are available pretty much for free? Maybe we could open a store where customers could come in and pay to "drink water" and "breathe air"! We could even add a bonus area where they could "walk around" or "sit". We could call the place "P.T. Barnum Explains It All"
clubfv March 12, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Chuck Price August 28, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Well aside from the peanut gallery comments on a subject he know nothing about I would like to continue to ask for a true and factual comment proving what I said is incorrect. I try to use these opportunities to teach and educated the public on info and facts that can help each of us. There are many benefits to tanning in a non over exposing way. People would be wise to do their own research and learn the truth about tanning and vitamin d. I spent a lot of time correcting the bad and incorrect info that was allowed to be put on this site. The person who wrote the article and the posted I corrected want to make statements that that can not back up with research only with info that comes for a morrow minded source. All I ask it that people who want to write articles or make comments be sure you do your due diligence in checking multiple sources and present the facts only and not your opinion. If you want to voice your opinion start a blog.
Beachbum August 28, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I did visit my dermatologist (Dr. Knautz at Marietta Dermatology) and asked him and received all kinds of studies proving the dangers of tanning. I thought about posting on here, but I really don't have to type everything out. Dr. Knautz couldn't believe that people still don't understand the dangers of tanning.
Chuck Price September 01, 2012 at 12:45 AM
So let's state a few of the facts and the source of those facts and I will counter with studies and proof that responsible tanning is not bad. Overexposure is bad. Just saying if you want to make a point back it up. Put a link to the studies he told you about. And what exactly is the danger. I'm open to prove my point in order for people to know the truth. The benefits far outweigh the risk if done correctly.
Bill Thrasher September 01, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Mr Price..I feel quite certain that you are correct when you say that **properly done**, tanning is not harmful. Does your staff determine just how much tanning a customer can get, or does the customer get what they want?
Chuck Price September 21, 2012 at 07:54 PM
We control how often and for how long a customer can tan every visit. It is out policy to look at the tanning history of the individual every time they come in and buy looking at the color of their skin and weather Thames are using a lotion and determine how long they will tan. We give the customer the option of advancing their time only if all the criteria is met showing that they are being responsible with the other factors involved. I have refunded many customers money if we find that they are not following the program or if we know that they are not interested in following our plan. In 6 years of owning this salon we have had less then 10 people who have had over exposure issues and most of them were minor and one slip through during our busiest time of the year. If you look at our reputation you will see the biggest complaint from customers is that we don't take "The Customer is always right" attitude. We believe we are trained to be the professional and therefore you need to trust us to get you the results you are looking for in the best way that we see fits. All this being said I am no longer the owner of a tanning salon but I still think the industry gets a bad unfair rap. Someone need to make sure the truth is given and the false rumors are dealt with in a factual way.


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