Tanning Beds – Danger or Hype?

      9 Comments on Tanning Beds – Danger or Hype?
A sunbed, with lights off.Image via Wikipedia


So, the World Health Organization has supposedly issued a report stating that tanning beds are as dangerous as smoking.

I’ve read the articles. They’ve all latched on to one or two spectacular lines, but no real information.

I’ve tried to get my hands on a copy of hte report itself, but so far – no luck. I want to read it for myself. Sick, I know – but you need someone who will go to the source and try to flush out the truth.

One of the articles that I read made silly statements like this –

“Since Vancouver is a low sunlight area, Dr. Rivers speculated that the young
women diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma in his practice could be getting
more ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds, which studies show is also
linked to an increased risk in melanoma.” 

That sure seems to be soundly based on facts – doesn’t it? Oh Brother!

Here’s what I do know –

Responsible use of tanning beds increases you vitamin D production, helps SAD and depression, excema, and provides you with a sense of well being.

Because of the profound sense of well-being, tanning can become addictive. This is not scientific – just an observation.

Most tanning salons are not strict enough.

I work at a contempo spa that also has tanning. I swear I fight with new people almost every day. They want to go max time, they swear they never burn, they don’t want to wear eye protection, and they say no one else makes them.

The whole key here folks is RESPONSIBLE use of a tanning bed.

That means –

Getting the proper level of exposure for your skin type – and no more.

Waiting 24 hours between tanning sessions.

Not tanning and sun bathing in the same day.

Wearing protective eyewear in the tanning beds. Closing your eyes will not protect you.

At Grayslake Planet Beach Contempo Spa, we are strict. I don’t care how pissed you get at me. Usually when I explain why we’re so strict, people usually appreciate it. Not always, but usually. People don’t realize the damage you can do to your eyes, or how over-exposure increases your risk. I’ve had a couple people threaten to cancel their memberships because I wouldn’t let them tan without eyewear. Sorry folks. Number one, it’s the law. Number 2 – I’m not going to be responsible for you burning your cornea. Period.

I’ve heard of tanning salons that just automatically give you max time. I’ve heard that they look the other way if you don’t have eyewear. I’ve heard that many salons are dirty. We get a lot of customers from these salons. Yes, we are not the cheapest. But when your health is at stake…

Some of the reports I read said that teens are tanning 2 or 3 times a day! Hence the tightening of restrictions on teen use of tanning beds. Parents, if you’re going to let your teen tan – check out the salon and make sure that they are following regulations. Talk to your kids about using tanning – indoor or outdoor – responsibly. Lead by example. Use tanning responsibly yourself.

If UV rays caused cancer, wouldn’t the whole continent of Africa have skin cancer? Why is it that skin cancer is more prevalent in countries that use a lot of sunscreen? I’m having a hard time swallowing all of the hyped up reports.

I think they key is moderation. The same key that you need to apply to anything else in your life. Too much of anything is usually not good for you. Why would this be any different?

I know, I’m looking for logic again…



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9 thoughts on “Tanning Beds – Danger or Hype?

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  5. Jennie

    Thanks Carole, this is really interesting. Living in a country (Australia) with a high rate of skin cancer and alot of sunscreen being used, I found your points very thought provoking. I’m particularly interested in cancer, perhaps because so many people die from it when there is a very real natural cure (and prevention) – vitamin B17, found in apricot seeds. If you haven’t already discovered http://www.1cure4cancer.com, I know you’d really get your teeth into the information there!

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