My husband Larry and I picked up a book called What Works What Doesn’t by Reader’s Digest. It is filled with advice from over 44 different doctors, professors and researchers. Within the book it talks about every topic of health from questions regarding: garlic, sleeping, tattoos, manicures, soda, and etc. Needless to say this book has become a favorite of mine.
One subject that caught my eye was the tanning salon section. Mainly because it’s summer, I am pale, and I like to share my reasoning behind me not ever going into a tanning booth. Another reason is that so many people go to tanning booths/salons because they are going on a summer trip and have this idea that it is better to visit the tanning booth beforehand because they “don’t want to burn” on their vacation. I would like to put that way of thinking to rest.
The question asked is,
“Is it safe to occasionally use tanning salons?”
The book follows with these explanations:
“No, they ravage your skin with ultraviolet radiation in far higher doses than you’d get during the same time in the sun. If wrinkles don’t scare you, skin cancer should.
The lure of tanning salons is unmistakable: Enter one, and after 20 minutes or so, you can emerge with a tan that may have taken you several hours on the beach to achieve. But there’s a serious health tradeoff. You tan fast in a salon because the tanning bed bombards your skin with a far more powerful dose of ultraviolet radiation than you’d get from natural sunlight in the same time period. This can cause cellular damage, premature aging, and skin cancer-not to mention a scaly sunburn if you stay in too long or temporary blindness because you neglected to wear eye shields.
Studies have even found that some people become addicted to using tanning beds, continuing to use them several times a week as they watch their skin suffer irreparable damage. The dangers are clear. A study conducted at Dartmouth University Medical School found that adults who had ever used tanning beds were 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to develop basal or squamous cell carcinomas, respectively, which are the most common skin cancers. Another study of 100,000 women in Norway and Sweden found that those who used tanning beds twice a month were 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Bottom line: Just like cigarettes, all tanning beds should carry a large-print warning that reads, “The US National Health Institutes of Health has determined that exposure to sunbeds and sunlamps is known to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans, which indicates a casual relationship between exposure to sunbeds and sunlamps and cancer.” ”
The article was followed with another significant question.
“But isn’t using a tanning bed a good way to boost vitamin D levels?”
The answer is no.
“It is known that people can receive their daily vitamin D intake from just 10-15 minutes of being outside without sunscreen, even just through their face and hands.”