With the warm weather in the air, you would think lying out in this beautiful 80 degree warm weather on the Great Lawn or maybe in your backyard is a perfect way to get a golden glow. With only a week left of classes and bikini season right around the corner, it seems students are on a mission to look their tannest. However, why have students become so highly addictive to tanning beds and tanning in general? Ultraviolet rays are so dangerous and harmful to your body and can damage your skin fibers, damage elasticity, and worst of all, cause skin cancer.
According to an article titled, “Hurts So Good: Why You Don’t Care if Tanning Is Bad For You,” by Lisa Jaffe Hubbell, Dermatologist James Spencer says, “Essentially, UV rays increase brain chemicals that make you feel good. Current research, although preliminary, seems to indicate a relationship between melatonin stimulating hormone (MSH) that helps you turn a golden brown and endorphin production.”
So the question we must ask ourselves is, “Why do we do things to our body when we know it is unsafe in the first place?” Is it truly because we feel better about our body and complexion when we are tan or is it just for vanity reasons? I mean don’t get me wrong, a great glow for your skin is great for summer time, but then again, skin cancer is not quite so pretty.
You may be wondering what tanning beds actually do you your body. Well, I am going to tell you and maybe it will change your decision next time you are about to lay down in once of these beds. To start off, UVA rays consist of long wavelengths that penetrate deep into your skin and UVB radiation affects the outermost layers of your skin. With that said, “Tanning is directly linked to skin cancer, specifically malignant melanoma, and other numerous health problems. Long-term effects of UVA rays include premature aging and wrinkles. Although rays are less likely to cause burns, they are still linked to damage the immune system and weaken the skin’s inner tissue,” according to Elizabeth Carruth’s article titled, “Do Tanning Beds Cause Skin Cancer and Other Harmful Effects?”
In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology states that every day in the U.S. more than 1 million people use tanning beds. Also, the tanning industry’s 2010 revenue is estimated at $2.6 billion. Of course people can agree that tanning beds are readily available all the time for a guaranteed tan and take less effort to get color versus lying outside and positioning yourself in the sun. But is that really a reason tanning in a tanning bed is so popular? Ironically enough, tanning salons use advertisements all the time to show how being bronze is more beautiful than being pale or just accepting your natural skin color. Don’t be fooled! These businesses are just doing this to make money and lure you in.
Remember: Protect your skin at all times, even when you’re not in a tanning bed. You can’t go wrong with any sunscreen or moisturizer that has high SPF in it.