Tanning Beds Are Not the Devil! (read first).

ImageI think tanning beds get a whole lot of bad press but I think they may have their place if you think about it, or better yet know about them.

It is true that tanning beds are linked to cancer just as the sun is linked to cancer since they both omit UVA and UVB rays (ultra violet rays that are unseen to the naked eye) that stimulate tanning in your skin. Really if you think about it all the skin when exposed tells your body Hey I’m getting irritated and burned over here, what are we going to do about it? So a tan is the result of the skin putting up a barrier of protection and this protection happens to look great!

I really do think that too much exposure to both rays UVA/UVB contributes to skin cancer and photo aging (yes wrinkles before your time, hate to see how Snooki will look in a few years!) but some researchers are pointing to the use (practical) of tanning beds. For one it is they type of bulbs that are inside the bed. Most use both UVA and UVB just like the sun. Some use only UVB (both rays have consequences, cancer or wrinkles and both) according to Rachel Nelson of http://www.livestrong.com/article/43123-uva-vs.-uvb-tanning-beds/ “There are trade -offs associated with each type”.

Ultimately, shade, shade and more shade seems to be your friend. Remember the sun can go through car windows and it is cumulative in the damage it can create (think of a crusty rubber band left in the sun doesn’t stretch too well after). So Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB is your best friend hands down!

I think there can be a use for UVB tanning beds when used properly, which would likely exclude tanning reasons. Many people work in offices or live in parts of the world where getting enough (therapy) levels of Vitamin D are an issue. Just because you live in a warm climate does not mean that your levels are in range. For this, your Doctor can run a simple blood test to find out. There are many long term illnesses and cancers researchers feel are directly corresponding with low Vitamin D levels. I will be honest, I was diagnosed with low D and I live in California. It happens!

ImageSupplements are widely available and there is nothing wrong with them; however some researchers are beginning to feel that a pure dose of UVB that penetrates the blood stream through ray exposure may be more effective than a supplement that you must ingest and digest to get the benefits from. I think this is all speculation but I see no problem with a small amount of controlled exposure to the sun or a tanning bed. When I say small I mean it! The feeling now is that you only need 3-5 minutes of UVB exposure to do the trick! Plus it encourages cell turnover and that is nature’s way of renewing your skin (just use a good body scrub that is gentle after).

So NO tanning beds are not “The Devil” if used wisely and you know what you are dealing with going in. I would still stick to “fake and bake” with a lot of sunscreen. Don’t forget to ask for a vitamin D screening when you talk to your Doctor you might be surprised with the outcome! Now, you know and you can make  a “Real” choice.- KatImage


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