Tanning Beds: Safer than the Sun?

A lot of people want to have a good tan. Having that golden complexion seems to make a lot of people look even more attractive. But in order to acquire that type of skin color, one may need to go out into the sun more often.

But now that many experts believe getting exposed to the sun for long periods of time to achieve that tan may actually be harmful and damage the skin, people make use of tanning beds as an alternative. But are they any safer?

In the quest to have a good tan, using tanning beds have become a popular method for some people to actually get a tan without getting out in the sun. Tanning beds work by emitting ultraviolet radiation by means of special fluorescent lamps designed to emit UVA and UVB light.

These lamps, which are fitted all around a bed where a person can lie down and be exposed to the UV light, are designed to emit UV in a spectrum that is similar to that coming from the sun. After a person gets exposed to this UV radiation for a specified period (20 minutes is the usual maximum), a reddening of the skin occurs and a cosmetic tan is achieved.

There have been many arguments that are still left unsettled when it comes to the subject of tanning beds being safer than being exposed to the sun. Some people believe that tanning bed are safer in getting a tan in that they offer more control to the user on how long he or she is exposed to the UV light.

Tanning beds usually have timers that limit the exposure its users to UV light. This might allow tanning bed users to minimize the risk of getting overexposed as what usually happens when trying to get a tan outdoors. And since tanning beds allow users to have this level of control over UV exposure, getting sunburn is minimized considerably.

Some believe that although tanning beds may offer more control over the exposure to UV light, it might also provide a means for users to use it for prolonged periods that is usually provided through sun exposure.

A good example that can be cited is that people may still consider using tanning beds even during the winter to maintain their tan complexion, therefore prolonging the period where they let themselves get exposed to UV radiation. The convenience that tanning beds offer can allow users to use it even during nighttime.

But there are also some people who believe that tanning beds may just be as harmful as trying to get a tan in the sun. Most doctors believe that there is no such thing as a safe tan.

Any exposure to UV radiation brings with it certain harmful effects that might lead to gradual damage to the skin. The damage that UV radiation can have on the skin can cause it to undergo premature skin aging as well as increasing the risk of developing skin cancer.

The debate as to whether which of which is safe would depend on one’s own perspective. The decision of which arguments hold ground would still ultimately belong to each individual. It is up to you to decide if tanning beds are safer than being exposed to the sun or they both offer similar risks when it comes to skin damage. You be the judge.