Friday, January 13, 2012

Harmful Affects of Tanning Beds

Tanning beds give skin a tan, which is the skin's reaction to exposure from ultraviolet (UV) rays, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Two types of UV rays penetrate the skin: UV-B rays that penetrate the top skin layers which are responsible for sunburns, and UV-A rays that penetrate deeper skin layers and can lead to skin cancer. Tanning beds emit both types of UV rays, having a multitude of effects on skin.
Premature Aging
Tanning beds cause the skin to lose elasticity, causing skin to prematurely age and wrinkle, according to the FDA. This does not happen immediately, but the effects on skin are seen many years after receiving sunburns and tans from tanning beds.
Exposing your skin to UV rays from the sun and from tanning beds increases the risk for developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. This type of cancer is linked to getting severe sunburns, according to the FDA. The National Research Center for Woman & Families states that tanning beds used to give off UV-A radiation with only a small amount of UV-B radiation. However, in recent years, manufacturers have started to increase the amount of UV-B radiation given off by tanning beds to better duplicate natural solar UV light and speed up the tanning process even further, causing concern because UV-B radiation is more likely to cause cancer than UV-A radiation.
Other Skin Cancers
UV radiation from tanning beds contributes to squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. Squamous cell carcinoma normally occurs on skin surfaces that are exposed to excessive UV radiation such as ears and face, and spreads very quickly to other organs of the body, according to the National Research Center for Women & Families. Basal cell carcinomas account for up to 10 percent of all skin cancers, growing very slowing and do not normally spread to other body organs. Because basal cell carcinomas are slow growing, they are found and treated sooner than other types of skin cancers.
Allergic Reaction
Tanning beds can cause an itchy, red rash in people who are sensitive to UV radiation. Tanning beds can also worsen certain skin conditions like eczema which tend to flare up when skin is overly dry, with tanning beds drying out skin even further.

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