I’ve always liked spending time in the sun. I like the way sunshine makes me feel and I like the way I look with a tan. Unfortunately for at least half the year it is way too cold outside to be tanning and that’s why I often frequent tanning beds about once or twice a month in the winter.
Many people are quick to tell me how I am giving myself cancer… which I wholeheartedly disagree with. Dr. Mercola wrote a very informative article about the real effect of tanning beds on cancer. Check out his article here. If you’re in a hurry, here’s my summary below 🙂
The increased risk of cancer is EXAGGERATED.
- Many articles and doctors love to quote the study that found people who had used a tanning bed before the age of 35 increase their risk of melanoma by 75%.
- This is an accurate finding however it is completely EXAGGERATED.
- A person who does not tan has less than 2/10 of a 1% chance of developing melanoma. A person who does tan has less than 3/10 of a 1% chance of developing melanoma. So yes, the risk of developing cancer does increase… but it is still less than 1%!!
- Using tanning beds increases your body’s level of Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to protect you from infectious diseases and non-cancerous diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and mental disorders
- It could be argued that the increased protection from these disorders would be worth the less than 1% chance of developing skin cancer.
Not all tanning beds are created equal.
- Safe tanning beds generate less UVA rays than the sun while unsafe tanning beds generate more UVA rays than the sun.
- UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays and are therefore more potentially harmful.
- Safe tanning beds use electronic ballasts to generate light while unsafe tanning beds use magnetic ballasts to generate light.
- Magnetic ballasts create a high level of EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) which could potentially lead to cancer
- So when choosing your tanning bed look for ones that emit a lower level of UVA rays and use electronic ballasts!
How you tan MATTERS.
- Don’t tan excessively and don’t tan to the point of burning. Be smart and be safe!