UVA ultraviolet radiation (occasionally called long wave radiation, 320 to 400 nanometers) is the most common radiation in commercial-grade tanning gear and is responsible for the darkening of the melanin already in the skin. It has the potential to infiltrate the dermis. UVA will have to be 1000 times more intense than UVB to activate the same erythema level. An acute exposure to UVA can leave burns in light skinned people . Most tanning beds emit between 7-20 mW/cm2 UVA, which is more or less 8 times stronger than the sun at noon in the summer!
UVB ultraviolet radiation (sometimes called short wave radiation, 280 to 320 nanometers) is liable for sunburns (being 1000 times more erythemally effective than UVA) as well as for delayed tanning that appears inside 2 or 3 days and lasts for a longer period of time. UVB predominately penetrates the epidermis and is found at variable levels in all commercial-grade types of tanning equipment.
What are therisks of tanning?
This is an incendiary redness of the skin which is caused by too much exposure to UV radiation. The small blood vessels in the skin expand and step-up the blood flow to the skin's surface, resulting in red and painful skin. This reaction may be almost immediate in grievous occurrences, or it may evolve hours later in not as much of severe occurrences of overexposure.
2. Skin Cancer
The National Cancer Institute reports that skin cancer is the most normal form of cancer in the US. In a paper done in July 2009, an estimate was that there would be over one million new cases by the end of the year. Lately, skin cancer is happening more often in young folks. Squamous and basal cell cancers are the most common, but rarely fatal, forms of skin cancer. In most cases, they are caused by UV exposure, so most of those occurrences can be avoided by avoiding exposure to UV. Melanoma is a less regular, but is a potentially deadly, type of skin cancer.
3. Premature Skin Aging
Ultraviolet radiation causes premature aging effects such as skin wrinkling and hardening. There is also some scientific proof that long term exposure to UV radiation weakens your immune system, which will affect your body's potential to defend against serious illnesses.
4. Eye Problems
Ultraviolet radiation might induce painful temporary damage to the cornea in the eye. These conditions possibly could evolve from 2 to 24 hours after exposure, but frequently occur within 6 to 12 hours. UVA radiation may cause eye ageing effects, such as browning of the lens and its loss of elasticity. Overexposure to UVB seems to be at least partly responsible for the appearance of cataracts in the eye lens.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently re-categorized indoor tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans. This move was commended by The American Academy of Dermatology. This categorization places indoor tanning in the highest cancer risk category possible by this international agency.
Their review concluded that the peril of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds and sunlamps begins before 30 years of age.
After all this persuasive evidence, if you still have decided to tan on a tanning bed, following these steps to minimize risk:
- Always wear safety eye-wear/eye covers.
- Read the warning labels on the tanning bed you are using and obey the directions.
- Do not surpass the recommended tanning time per session for your skin type.
- Once you have your desired skin color, do not tan more than once a week.
There are alternatives to tanning beds! There are lotions and sprays that you can apply, which will color your skin and give you the look of a nice tan. In fact, some tanning salons only offer sunless tanning now. This is a very healthy alternative to using UV radiation to darken your skin.