Exposing the body to UV rays – no matter if outdoors or indoors – makes skin darker and improves mood. On the flip side, both ways of getting a tan accelerate skin photo-aging, as well as cause sunburns and skin cancer. Is indoor tanning safer than laying under the sun? How to get sun-kissed skin without risking your health? And finally, who under no circumstances should use sunbeds?
Is Indoor Tanning Safe?
Solarium was meant to be a safe alternative to regular sunbathing. Sunbeds were supposed to emit only UVA rays, which used to be recognized as less dangerous to skin than UVB. Sadly, with time it turned out that it’s not possible to reduce UVB rays to nil, even in an artificial environment such as solarium. That being said, the answer to the question whether indoor tanning is safer for skin than regular sunbathing is negative.
Using sunbeds is dangerous because it:
- speeds up skin ageing processes (destroys collagen and elastin that keeps skin supple and youthful-looking)
- causes damage to blood vessels
- has an extremely negative effect on hair and nails
- may lead to sunburns
- is one of the main causes of skin cancer
- may lead to serious and untreatable skin diseases, especially fungal infections
How to Get a Tan Indoor Safely?
Firstly, if you really need to do it, use the services of trusted solarium. What does it mean? Check the place if the staff follows the health and hygiene requirements. See whether the state of the sunbeds is acceptable. Ask if the cabins are not only disinfected after every customer but also if they are regularly serviced. Finally, you can also look for a salon offering disposable slippers. When it comes to keeping the place hygienic and safe, it’d be a good idea if you used a single-use towel or brought your own towel. Another important issue that makes indoor tanning safer is applying sunscreen before each session and putting on sunbed eye protection goggles. Lastly, when you return home, spread some balm all over your body.
Who Shouldn’t Use Indoor Tanning?
Those who shouldn’t lay their bodies on a sunbed are people whose complexion is pale and hair is fair, as well as those who suffer from atopic dermatitis – the lesions may turn into melanoma. Visiting a solarium isn’t recommended also to those who suffer from lupus, dermatomyositis and other diseases affecting the connective tissue. Pregnant women belong to another group of people who should resign from using indoor tanning. As for contraindications to getting a tan in a solarium, they also include ladies taking birth control pills and using cosmetics for acne, especially those containing vitamin A and fruit acids. Finally, taking painkillers, some antibiotics, chemotherapeutic agents and psychotropic drugs also excludes you from a group of people who may get brownish skin in a solarium.