Tanning is a risky process, but how else do you get that perfect bronzed look to your skin? The FDA offers a slew of issues that could result from tanning without precautions, but with the right steps you might be able to prevent problems. Many of the problems associated with tanning come from people attempting to do so without understanding how to remain safe. Companies like Solarium Tanning offer tanning beds that serve as a great alternative during the winter months. But the same problems may arise, regardless of if you have an indoor or outdoor tan. So how do you minimize the risk while getting that sweet bronzing you’ve been dreaming of?
Tanning Damages Skin Cells
It’s a hard truth, but one we have to accept. Tanning is a warning that the cells on the surface of your skin are being killed off. This damage increases the chances of acquiring skin cancer. The primary driver of this skin damage comes from ultraviolet radiation. The EPA mentions that 90% of the changes your skin undergoes as you age comes from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Any long-term tan will require staying out in the sun for an extended period. Chances are, it’s not worth the chance of getting cancer.
Vitamin D Considerations
Sun tanning has the positive benefit of letting your body naturally produce vitamin D. Vitamin D, also called calciferol, is essential in helping your body function properly. Your skin can turn sunlight into usable vitamin D, but too much of a good thing is also concerning. Occasionally, your body’s vitamin D production goes overboard, and this can cause calcification of organs. If you’re concerned about getting vitamin D, you can always rely on food sources such as canned tuna, egg yolks, and salmon.
Avoiding The Damage
Most people who want to avoid the damage that the sun does to their skin have simple options. Sunscreen is a must, even if you’re standing in the shade. The more sunburns you get, the worse the damage to your skin is and the higher your chances of contracting skin cancer. If you really want to limit the damage, try not to sunbathe at the peak heat times. The intense radiation can cause severe damage to external cells and penetrate deeper inside your skin. Change angles every so often so that you don’t put the same area of your body in danger throughout your suntanning expedition.
Risk and Reward
A suntan raises your desirability in some circles, but too much sun or UV radiation can cause severe damage. The least risky solution you have is a self-tanning station once you take the proper precaution. The downside is that they don’t ever look as good as a real tan. Spray tans also have the stigma attached to them that makes them seem cheap and tawdry. While they are safe, for the most part, they’re nowhere near as good as the real thing. Tanning beds are a decent trade-off, but you need to exercise caution. These also use harsh UV rays for tanning, so you should limit your use to even less than if you were lying out in the sun.