Sun Tanning Myths

There’s a lot of information floating around about indoor tanning. Unfortunately, a lot of it is inaccurate. So here’s the real story behind the biggest myths about indoor tanning.

Myth #1: All doctors oppose indoor tanning

Lots of indoor tanners are referred by their doctors for cosmetic skin conditions. Many hospitals have their own sunbeds installed for patients.

Myth #2: Any tan is damage

Tanning is a natural. Our bodies were designed to receive sunlight and creating a tan is part of that process.

Myth #3: Tanning is addictive

Sunbeds do indeed leave you feeling good and looking good so they can be addictive but then again so can eating, shopping, drinking…etc

Myth #4: Tanning is just like smoking cigarettes

Unlike exposure to UV light, inhaling toxins found in tobacco is an unnatural process. Our bodies weren’t designed to process these toxins and smoking has been proven to “cause” many diseases including lung cancer. Making this comparison really downplays the dangers associated with cigarette smoking too.

Studies linking tanning to increased risks of skin cancer are complex. To date, there are no studies proving a “causal” relationship between moderate tanning and melanoma skin cancer. This doesn’t mean the tanning industry doesn’t believe there are risks or that we should ignore existing science. That is why all sunbed salons and owners of sunbeds should take note of the potential risks associated with indoor tanning with consent forms, equipment labels, signage and educational materials.

Myth #5: Tanning beds are different than sunshine

Mid-day summer sunlight is made up of 95% UVA light and 5% UVB light. Most indoor tanning equipment emits the same thing but in slightly higher doses, usually 2-3 times more intense. That’s why professional tanning salons control the duration of your total exposure based on the UV output of the tanning unit.

It’s simple math. Your total exposure to the sun or a tanning unit is based on the intensity of the UV light multiplied by the total exposure time. So if the tanning unit you’re using is two times more powerful than sunlight, your tanning professional will carefully adjust your exposure time to at least half of the non-burning exposure you would want to get outdoors in summer sunlight.


Notice: Exposure to ultraviolet radiation may increase the risk of skin damage, skin cancer and can cause serious eye injury.


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