The Danger of Tanning Beds
Recently WomensHealth.com published an article on the dangers of tanning beds, referring to them as coffins!
We felt that it was important to reiterate some of what they had to say, since, unbelievable as it seems, 74% of people surveyed by the American Academy of Dermatology responded that they did not know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
So what exactly happens when you go into the tanning bed – here it is – a Timeline of a Tan!
So you enter a tanning bed…
Within seconds, massive doses of UV rays bombard your body with about 12 times more than you get from the sun.
Minutes later, long UVA rays penetrate your skin. Over time they destroy collagen and elastin in the skin, causing permanent damage like wrinkles, sagging skin, sun spots.
Since UVA light can penetrate even deeper, damaging DNA cells – within seconds your immune system feels attacked and sends signals to produce melanocytes to protect your skin.
Melancytes are little brown ‘umbrellas’ that protect DNA from damage. This produces ‘tan’ skin – a sign that the skin has been damaged.
5 minutes into your tanning session, you begin to feel a mild sense of euphoria and well-being – that’s from endorphins in your body produced by the UVA rays – possibly keeping you in the tanning bed longer!
By now, UVB rays have probably fried the upper layers of skin causing redness, burning and possibly a sense of stinging.
Hours and days later, your cells start turning over – new cells take over for old damaged cells. But this is where the problem lies – mistakes happen during this process and those mistakes lead to mutation resulting in MELANOMA.