The Benefits and Risks of Using Tanning Beds for Ultraviolet (UV) Exposure

Benefits Risks

Introduction to and Health

We frequently hear that tanning beds can be beneficial and harmful for health. But what are the advantages and risks of using tanning beds that emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation? Let’s explore the benefits and risks of using tanning beds while considering our health.

Benefits of using Tanning Beds

Tanning beds can be beneficial for health, as it can provide a natural-looking ‘sun-kissed’ glow. Tanning beds also provide a balanced level of vitamin D that helps optimize our immune system, promote healthy skin and to reduce inflammation. Many people with skin issues, such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis, find that using tanning beds can provide relief from symptoms, as the UV light is effective at healing the skin and reducing redness.

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Risks of using Tanning Beds

Using tanning beds too often, or in an unfamiliar setting, can be dangerous and expose our skin to elevated levels of UV radiation, which can cause sunburns, skin damage, and potentially increase the risk of skin cancer. Prolonged UV exposure can lead to wrinkles, dry skin, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging of the skin.

It is also important to understand how different tanning bed models vary in terms of UV properties and understand the dimensions of the device and placement in relation to our body.

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Precautions to take while using Tanning Beds

To get the maximum benefit out of using tanning beds while mitigating the risk, it is important to:

  • Never use tanning beds more than once in a 7-day period. Longer exposure can significantly increase your risk of developing skin cancer
  • Make sure the tanning bed is equipped with a timer, eye protection, and regulated tanning lamps and that they are maintained and changed every few months.
  • Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes from UV exposure and use skin care products such as sunscreen with an appropriate SPF to protect your skin.
  • Pay attention to the regulator and the cooling fan on the tanning bed, so you can adjust the exposure level to suit your individual preferences.

Conclusion

Using tanning beds for ultraviolet exposure has its own benefits and risks, and it is important to be aware of them when getting a tan through this method. Taking precautions such as limiting exposure to once a week, wearing protective goggles, and employing the right skin care products can help minimise the risk of skin damage.