I am a 16-year-old female and I have been considering going to a tanning bed. I have heard that they are very bad for your health, but I wanted a doctor’s opinion.
Well, in my opinion, along with thousands of others and the U.S. government give thumbs down to tanning devices.
Research results tell us that tanning carries many significant health risks, both in the long and short term. Tanning lamps employ ultraviolet (UV) light, just like the UVA and UVB rays of sunlight. Some devices only use UVA rays, which the salons may market as safer than UVB. But the truth is both carry a variety of risks, such as:
Skin cancer — Tanning may be linked to malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It’s also been shown to cause other kinds of skin cancer.
Eye damage — Without proper protection, overexposure can harm the retina and cornea, even if your eyes are closed. Long-term use of tanning machines may lead to cataracts or other eye problems.
Skin damage — Some of the damage done to the skin is permanent and the effects are cumulative. Outdoors or indoors, too much sun may lead to premature aging of the skin, causing freckling, wrinkles and a leathery texture.
Immunity — Some studies indicate that using the tanning beds may weaken the immune system, creating increased susceptibility to colds and other infections.
Even limiting your tanning time to 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch can be harmful. The UV radiation is intensified with tanning devices and a short session equals hours spent lying about at the beach, in terms of UV exposure and negative health effects.