No matter how much information we see about the possible dangers of too much time in the sun, there are those people who love the way they look with a tan. Some of them will even use artificial light during the off season to keep that golden glow all year long. At the minimum, follow some simple tanning bed safety guidelines if you are going to go to a tanning parlor.
We have known for many years that too much exposure to the sun can have a long term detrimental effect on our overall health and the health of our skin. While the damage may not show up for decades we can develop skin cancer and premature aging to name just two.
In order to decrease these risks in the future use these tanning bed safety rules (as well as any rules that the individual tanning parlor may have in place):
1. Limit the amount of time you spend in a bed when you are first starting out. A good salon will make it part of their policy to limit how much time you can spend when you first start out.
They will force you to increase your time incrementally over a few weeks. It may be frustrating to be able to go for only two or three minutes at a time when first starting but it is the safest way to go.
While all exposure to UV rays can be damaging to your skin, and could lead to future skin cancer, the more often you burn your skin the more likely you are for long term damage.
Avoiding getting burned is one of the best ways to make the whole process "safer".
2. Make sure you use the eye protection provided (or bring your own). Also, keep your eyes closed. The eye protection is only your first line of defense, your eye lids are your second line of defense. Use both.
Your skin is not the only thing that is vulnerable to too many UV rays. Your eyes are too. If you don't protect them you may find that skin cancer is the least of your concerns.
3. Allow a minimum of 24 hours between tanning sessions. Again, a well run tanning parlor will make that part of their rules and won't let you tan more frequently.
This may seem unnecessary but your skin can actually keep tanning for a long time even after you are out of the sun. Until you know how much exposure you really got and how your skin will react you need to allow yourself plenty of time in between visits.
4. Wear sunscreen even in the tanning booth. I know this may seem counter intuitive, but you can still get a tan even while wearing sunscreen, you are just cutting down the amount of these harmful rays that are making it through to your skin and thus minimizing the damage.
5. Make sure the beds are kept clean and sanitary. You don't want to get more than a tan when you visit your local tanning parlor.
Tanning bed safety guidelines like these are the best way to keep yourself as safe as possible when doing something that isn't that safe. Don't compound your risk, follow these rules.