Sun Tan Myths Exposed – #2 Sun Beds Are Safer Than Sunbathing

sun bed sun tan tanning salon

Fact:Sun lamps used in tanning beds emit doses of  UVA as much as 12 times that of the sun! 

Tanning booths primarily emit UVA, according to the skin cancer foundation UVA, penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, has long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling.  If that’s not reason not to stay away from the tanning salon: the American Academy of dermatology reports  people who use tanning salons are 2.5 times more likely to develop various forms of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma, & basal cell carcinoma), and the risk increases with  frequent use.

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Young people  are particularly vulnerable. According to recent research,the biggest jump in skin cancer reports seen among adolescents ages 15 to 19, especially girls that the number of diagnosed cases is rising. First exposure to tanning beds in youth increases melanoma risk by 75 percent.

Recently, the FDA proposed stricter regulations on tanning devices.


About sunnysleevez

I'm a freckly red head, originally from London now living in LA with 2 pale children. Frankly with our coloring we have no business being such an outdoorsy family and living in southern California. I grew up in a time when factor 8 sun milk was considered the best protection available to combat the hot rays of a holiday in southern Spain, that lead to 3rd degree burns and the rest of the vacation spent in the shade of our apartment. As a family we love to be outside, going to the beach, camping, swimming & hiking. We can't completely avoid the sun (nor should we) but taking sensible measures to avoid unnecessary UV damage is a priority. How do we do that? By staying in the shade in the middle of the day, wearing sun protective clothing (that's why I created Sunny Sleevez), a broad brimmed hat, UV rated sunglasses, using chemical-free broad spectrum sun screen on exposed areas & eating a healthy diet with as few chemicals as possible & lots of antioxidants.
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2 Responses to Sun Tan Myths Exposed – #2 Sun Beds Are Safer Than Sunbathing

  1. I work at a tanning salon where I had to become a certified tanning consultant. Coming from someone who has abnormal moles removed, I understand peoples’ concerns. We are never allowed to use the word “safe,” because no form of UVA/UVB exposure is “safe.” However, it’s interesting how many people come in for sunless tanning (mystic HD/versa pro) and express their concerns about UV light, but then say they are going to Florida for a week to bake themselves. Everything needs to be done in moderation. A professional tanning salon will have information regarding their beds and the amount of UVA/UVB being emitted. If you’re planning a vacation to a tropical island where you are sure to burn, building a base in a controlled environment is a much smarter way to gain color than to develop an awful burn in a uncontrolled environment. Also, the statement “as much as 12 times that of the sun” seems very misleading. Does a tanning bed emit 12x the amount of UVA if it a 95% cloudy day? Statistics like these need to be questioned because they are not clarified. While tanning is not for everyone, I highly recommend everyone read before making their choices.

  2. krchriswell says:

    I cheered from middle school to college graduation, which means I tanned the entire time (a reminder: Cheerleading skirts are painfully unflattering if you aren’t thin and tan). I would leave the salon feeling comforted with the UVA/UVB explanation. They would actually provide statistics and “facts” that would justify you spending time in the tanning bed each month. It’s unsettling what we were told and honestly, even four years ago I needed concrete information about actual UVA sunlight verses a tanning bed. I have much larger problems I fear besides my aging skin in my future.

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