The process where skin pigment is darkened due to exposure to ultraviolet light rays is known as “tanning”. There are two different types of tanning, the first is immediate tanning and the other is delayed tanning. Immediate tanning is caused by the Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays present in sunlight and appears shortly after sunbathing. This type of tanning usually only lasts temporarily, from as little as a few hours to a few days. Delayed tanning is the skin’s response to the exposure to Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and usually only appears 2-3 days after sunbathing and lasts longer. The intensity of the tan varies as it depends on the type of skin.
Indoor Tanning Process and Devices
Indoor tanning has become very popular due to its convenience. Just like regular tanning, indoor tanning should include tanning lotion. A clamshell tanning bed is the most commonly used tanning system utilised by tanning salons. Customers have to lie on plexiglass, where tanning lamps located above and under the body can efficiently emit just the right amount light to effectively tan the skin. However, tanning beds might sometimes cause an uneven tan due to the pressure against the skin from lying on a hard surface. The latest high tech tanning devices are called stand up tanning beds and don’t require a person to lay down on plexiglass, eliminating the risk of an uneven tan.
Most older tanning devices use light sources that emit short wave Ultraviolet B rays. These UVB rays may actually cause a burning sensation, hence the need for tanning lotion. The salon owners began switching to using tanning beds that emit mostly long wave Ultraviolet A rays because of the potentially harmful effects of UVB rays. The UVA rays cause less burning than the UVB rays.
The harmful side effects of Tanning
Indoor tanning is very much responsible for the damage to our skin because of overexposure to ultraviolet rays. The skin produces melanin as a response to exposure to UV rays, resulting in the colour we commonly refer to as a “tan”. Eye injury, skin rashes and even skin cancer may develop due to the overexposure to UV rays.
The UV rays from the sun and tanning beds are the most widely known culprits of skin cancer. UV rays have been known to even damage the immune system, causing premature aging or wrinkling of the skin.
Health experts and medical professionals are warning people from the dangers of exposure to UV rays, both originating from the sun and from tanning beds. This is because UVB rays penetrate deeper into the skin and is the main cause of sunburn. Too much exposure to UV rays may result in malignant melanoma, a very serious type of skin cancer.
Indoor tanning lotion sales have been skyrocketing, but with continual warnings from various health officials, a trend leaning towards a more natural skin colour has begun to emerge. The advancement in technology has allowed for safer tanning equipment to be developed, making indoor tanning a regular activity for many people. However, with all treatments and procedures, you may want to consider both the long and short term effects before proceeding with the treatment.
Many people use indoor tanning in preparation for a beach vacation. The base tan helps to prevent uneven tanning and helps the skin respond better to continual exposure to the sun.
If you are interested in indoor tanning, an option you can consider is the indoor tanning provided at Fabulous Aesthetics. We use a standing tanning booth, so there is no risk of an uneven tan. The machine we use also does not emit high levels of UVB rays like conventional machines, lowering the risk of skin damage, and definitely risk to get skin cancer.