Tanning beds have been established as a significant cause of skin cancer, especially in young women. But beyond the tremendous health risks they pose, tanning beds can also damage your skin, causing unfortunate cosmetic effects both short-term and long-term. Here are just some of the problems you may face if you indulge in tanning beds:
- Sunburn – Yes, you can get a sunburn from indoor tanning. Sprucing up your tan in a tanning bed can lead to redness and peeling or blistering skin the same as sun exposure. Imagine that on your prom or wedding day!
- Breakouts – Tanning, like any UV exposure, can dry your skin. This can stimulate production of more oil, leading to acne breakouts and blemishes.
- Dry skin – For the same reason, tanning beds can cause dry skin and make your skin itch, flake or develop rashes.
- Premature aging – Because tanning damages your skin (a sun tan is actually the result of increased pigmentation that’s a sign of skin damage) it can cause premature wrinkles, creases and lines. Your skin can lose elasticity and become leathery. You can also develop dark spots.
- Scarring – If you develop skin cancer as a result of tanning or any other UV exposure, you may be treated with surgery. While the surgical procedures are very precise, if the skin cancer is significant and depending on the skin reconstruction method necessary and the quality of after-care you give yourself, you may end up with scarring.
- Actinic/solar keratoses – Usually a pre-cancerous condition, tanning beds can cause areas of rough, bumpy skin where tanning has caused skin damage.
There is no such thing as safe tanning. All tanning leads to skin damage, and tanning beds are a major threat to your skin’s apperance and your overall health. Simply wearing sunscreen and moisturizing after a session are not enough to prevent damage or skin cancer from tanning beds.
We highly recommend avoiding tanning beds, and spreading the word to your friends or family who may use them. If you have concerns about cosmetic skin damage from tanning, schedule a consultation with our dermatologists or estheticians to discuss cosmetic treatments that can help.