You are probably thinking “There’s no way this will happen only after a session or two” Well, let me tell you why you are wrong. To understand this well, here is how the tanning bed works: you lie in a bed that surrounds you with UV radiation rays that help darken the skin. This is made possible with the tanning bulbs that are placed all over the bed and emit UV rays.
Your skin can easily get burns similar to a sunburn and it may cause your skin to peel off and appear red. This is twice as much enhanced if you have a fair complexion which easily gets burned in the sun. All of this leads to wrinkles, fine lines and brown spots. Hence, say “Hello!” to prematurely aged skin.
Using a tanning bed too often or in sessions that are emitting UV rays too strong for your skin to handle can result in horrifying side effects for your skin. For example, you can get age spots which are similar in appearance to the freckles but larger all over your arms and upper back. Then, you can get labial lentigo which is a spot on the lower lip from excessive exposure to UV rays, and no, it is not a pleasant sight. Furthermore, you can get melasma which is the appearance of dark patches on the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. What is more, these dark patches can develop even further leading to skin cancer or solar keratosis.
Cataracts are medically explained as clouding over the eyes and causing difficulty in seeing. They can happen if your eyes are openly exposed in the sun and can be prevented by wearing sunglasses. But what happens when you lie in the tanning bed with your eyes in direct contact with the harmful UV rays? Wearing protective goggles might help you protect the eyes to a certain extent but many of people using a tanning bed don’t put the goggles on as they don’t want the area around the eyes to be left untanned. Well, priorities?
Breakdown of Collagen and Elastin Fibre
The UV rays are so powerful that can break the deeper connective tissue under the skin. Hence, the collagen and the elastin in fibres are broken down. The result is vertical wrinkling and saggy appearance giving vibes of an aged appearance.
A weakening of the Immune System
Our bodies are smart – they have developed an immune system to fight against outside threats. However, using tanning bad might weaken the immune system – to a great extent! This can lead to causing a lot of problems for the defence system of our bodies, they wouldn’t be able to protect themselves from the threats anymore.
The worst that can happen is skin cancer. Also known as melanoma, skin cancer can be deadly if it progresses fast. The fact that it kills many thousands of people a year is terrifying, so why risk it voluntarily? And if it doesn’t kill you, the procedures, recovery and removal process can be excruciating. Once again I ask you, is it worth it?
Now let’s take a look at the other option you have: the self-tanning spray tan… on the next page.