Dermatologists have been saying it for years, and yet more people are jumping into tanning beds.
Tanning happens when skin cells try to produce a cover to protect themselves from UV-A and UV-B rays, both of which are found in sunlight. And when sunbathing isn’t an option, tan lovers turn to artificial methods, such as tanning beds. Nonmelanoma skin cancer also is on the rise, and a paper published in the Archives of Dermatology says it has reached epidemic proportions. UV-A radiation in tanning beds can be 10 to 15 times more powerful than the sun at midday, according to a congressional report. What’s more, many tanning beds boast the fact that they do not feature UV-B rays, which cause sunburn. Using a tanning bed before the age of 30 increases the risk of melanoma by 75 percent, according to the IARC.

People who have undergone more than 10 indoor tanning sessions before they turn 30 are six times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. Tanning beds have also been linked to other skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of skin cancer.
Using a tanning bed increases risk of developing basal cell carcinoma before the age of 40 by 69 percent, according to the Congressional report. Researchers concluded that tanning beds provided no effective sunburn protection whatsoever, according to the congressional report. Tanning beds help those with Vitamin D deficiencies UV-B rays can produce Vitamin D, however, these also are the rays that are blocked by many tanning beds because UV-B causes sunburn.
Those who are most at risk for Vitamin D deficiency are the ones least likely to be using a tanning bed; they tend to have darker skin. If one is Vitamin D-deficient, doctors recommend taking a oral supplement rather than exposing oneself to intensive radiation.

Wearing white clothing might not save you from a sunburn, but using a UV protectant laundry treatment such as Rit Sun Guard can add a protective layer to any garment. Whether it’s a spray or cream, using sunscreen is a great way to keep skin burn-free. If the shadow is shorter than you, then the sun’s rays are at their strongest and you need to seek protection.

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