The Lesser Known Dangers Of Tanning Beds

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 6/19/2012 7:19 am
Many people prepare for the summer sun by hitting a tanning bed, so they can hit the beach with a little color. One reason to avoid them altogether is obviously skin cancer, but there are some lesser known reasons to skip the bed.

Tanning beds can suppress your immune system, cause problems with your eyes and make you look older due to skin damage and photo-aging.

Tanning beds radiate UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply and damages collagen, which is the basic building block of our skin, and elastin, which helps to keep us looking younger.

Studies have linked tanning bed use to an increased risk of all forms of skin cancers. In fact, your risk can go up as much as 15 percent for every 4 visits.

A 2010 study even found bacteria like e.coli on tanning beds in New York City.

Dermatologists are seeing skin cancers developing on younger people, which many experts attribute to tanning bed use.

"It's that younger, female age group that's really starting to have an increased risk of melanoma, in particular, but skin cancers and it's hard to know exactly what to attribute that to but probably the biggest thing we're seeing is that younger women are the ones in tanning beds," said Dr. Jennifer Lucas, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Lucas says sunless tanning is the safest way to tan. She recommends store-bought or professionally done spray-tans to get your healthy glow.
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Tanner - 6/19/2012 1:04 PM
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How is it possible to suggest spray-tan as an alternative to tanning beds? Spray-tan gives only the cosmetic effect from tanning, nothing else. Tanning beds emit the same kind of UV-light that you find in sunlight. Admittingly they do so more efficient. The physiological effect from an indoor tanning session is no different than tanning on the beach, just faster and under total control (i.e. you know exactly the strength of the tubes, the amount of UVA and UVB and can therefore more precise determine your exposure time). The time of exposure in a tanning bed compared to outdoor tanning, is therefore much shorter, also taking into account that your expose all body simultaneously. So, if indoor tanning should be age-limited, it is even more important to limit access to outdoor tanning for youngsters. But I suppose everyone understands the impossibility and lunacy behind such a rule. So why even think about an restriction for indoor tanning? Well, here is why ...
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